This is how much money you need to make to live alone in Vancouver
Budgeting might not be sexy, but it’s a necessary fiscal responsibility – especially if one’s trying to get by in Vancouver.
This West Coast gem of a city has so much to offer. From the mild climate and easy access to nature to our diverse and inclusive culture, it’s easy to see why people worldwide want to call Vancouver home. But Vancouverites know they pay a premium for the privilege.
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So let’s budget out how much moolah you need to make it in the city. According to Numbeo, a website that uses crowdsourced information to compare the cost of living in cities, the average monthly cost for a single person in the city is $1,209.66 – but that’s before rent is taken into account.
We broke down the realistic monthly costs that a person renting alone in Vancouver will face. Hold on to your wallets!
1. Housing costs in Vancouver
The most expensive rentals in Vancouver in terms of cost per square foot are studios and one-bedrooms.
Numbeo puts the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Vancouver at $2,169.91 per month.
2. Utility costs in Vancouver
In rental agreements, utilities are sometimes included in the cost of rent, but sometimes they are not.
The cost of basic utilities – think BC Hydro bills to cover your heating and electricity – average $99.49 per month for a 900-square-foot apartment.
Internet costs have an average monthly price of $82.84.
3. Phone costs in Vancouver
According to a telecom analyst report, prices in the Canadian wireless market are the highest in the world.
For 100 GB of data, the monthly cost of having a smartphone is $117.25.
4. Transportation costs in Vancouver
You can save money on your transportation costs by walking or taking your bike. However, those options aren’t always ideal, especially if commuting daily.
A monthly TransLink pass is between $100.25 and $181.05, depending on how many zones you travel. If you drive, the cost of gas in Vancouver has been extraordinarily high lately, around $2 per litre.
5. Groceries costs in Vancouver
Adding Numbeo’s average Vancouver prices for basic grocery items, if purchased once a week, comes to a monthly average of $355.28.
The grocery items include milk, rice, bananas, cheese, and chicken – essentially just the basics.
6. Dining out costs in Vancouver
Since you’re probably going to get bored with your diet of rice, chicken, and bananas, you’ll want to eat out now and then. Especially because the restaurants in Vancouver are so damn good.
According to Numbeo, the cost of a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is $80 on average.
So if you go on a date once per week and pick up the cheque, that’s $320 per month.
Of course, the true monthly cost of eating out (and, let’s be real, ordering food delivery) will vary greatly depending on your taste and lifestyle.
7. Entertainment costs in Vancouver
In Vancouver, your average movie ticket costs $15.75, and a local beer costs $7.
So, if you go to the movies twice a month and have three beers a week, you’ll spend $115.50 a month on some leisurely drinking and cinema hopping.
Of course, if you love to do VIP cinemas and sip fancy cocktails, your monthly entertainment costs will look different than this conservative average.
8. Health and fitness costs in Vancouver
Fitness memberships vary greatly in Vancouver. You can go to a community centre gym quite cheaply, whereas other specialty fitness studios cost more.
Numbeo’s puts the monthly average for a fitness membership at $54.14.
9. Coffee costs in Vancouver
You can save money by drinking coffee at home. But will you have ever truly lived?
Numbeo puts a regular cappuccino at $5.02 on average. If you treat yourself to two a week, that’s $40.16 per month spent at your local cafe.
10. Cost of living extras in Vancouver
If you were to buy a pair of Nikes, that would set you back $117.86 in Vancouver, according to Numbeo.
To estimate the average cost of “extras” for a life in Vancouver, we’ll say people will spend the equivalent of two pairs of Nikes per month on whatever various purchases they like to make, from makeup and books to clothes and home goods.
The Grand Total
1. Housing: $2,169.91
2. Utilities: $182.33
3. Phone: $117.25
4. Transportation: $181.05
5. Groceries: $355.28
6. Dining Out: $320
7. Entertainment: $115.50
8. Health and Fitness: $54.14
9. Coffee: $40.16
10. Extras: $235.72
Total: $3,771.31 per month, or $45,255.72 annually
Numbeo says that the average net salary in Vancouver is $57,545.64. That would leave you just over $1,000 per month for all your other expenses like travel, savings, and debt repayment.
These figures are accurate as of April 2022.