Ever had dreams of living on your own in the big city? Well, a new report shows just how much it costs to live alone in Vancouver.
Vancouver has a lot to offer, including major sporting events, tons of culture, diversity, queer-friendly spaces, and history to boot. But those who live in the city know the cost of living can really add up.
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These numbers are accurate as of October 2021.
Remember when rent for a bachelor apartment was less than $1,000 per month? Just me? Okay.
We broke down monthly costs that a person renting alone in Vancouver will face. Brace yourself.
According to Numbeo, the average cost of a one bedroom apartment in downtown Vancouver is $2,040.26.
Now, throw utilities on top of that rental price and…well, it’s up another $93 per month. Want WiFi? Prepare to pay another $86 per month.
Add it all up and the total comes to $2,219.26. Yikes.
Phone = $101 per month
Ouch. According to a 2019 report from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Centre (CRTC), the average phone bill for Canadians is $101.
You can find cheaper options if you opt for less data, or for some of the more wallet-friendly phone companies, but the Big Three in Canada (Bell, Telus and Rogers) don’t come cheap!
Transportation = $105 per month
As more and more workplaces return to the office, commuters are filling up SkyTrain and buses again. A monthly transit pass is about $105.
Considering how these costs are already adding up, maybe it’s worth investing in a bike…but be careful that it’s not stolen. Vancouver’s bike thieves never sleep.
Groceries and household items = $345.56
Taking in Numbeo’s average Vancouver prices for the basic market items, being purchased once a week, comes to a total monthly average of $345.56 for a single, early 30-year-old on a basic diet.
And by basic, we mean milk, rice, bread, apples, bananas, eggs, chicken…basic.
Entertainment and dining out = $220
A lot of people move downtown for the culture and the nightlife, and Vancouver is no exception, but seeing your bill might make you think twice about going out.
According to Numbeo, the average cost for two to dine out in Vancouver at a mid-range restaurant is $80 for a three-course meal. Presumably, this price doesn’t include any alcoholic beverages, which would probably boost the price by about $30, assuming each person had one drink.
So, one evening of dining out will cost $110. Assuming that’s not the only night you head out, and perhaps you join friends for a couple of brunches, and maybe a movie night or two, you’re looking at about $220 per month.
Partying = $180
You can expect to pay about $10 to $15 per drink in the city, depending on where and what you’re drinking.
Now that going out for a night of drinking is back on the table, assume you resume your regular drinking-with-friends activities. If you go out to drink one night of every weekend, and drink two or three drinks, you’ll end up having spent about $180 on outings.
Though, after a year of lockdowns, who can blame you for wanting to go out and get loose?
Health and fitness = $61.33
Thinking about joining a gym or fitness group? Numbeo says Vancouverites pay $61.33 on average.
Coffee (from a coffee shop) = $60
You can’t throw a rock without hitting a local coffee shop in Vancouver, which is great for those of us who run on caffeine. Less great for our wallets.
Assuming you’re not opting for a fancy latte, and just going for the large coffee, you’re looking at about $3 per cup. Assuming you’re getting one coffee per workday, that’s $60 per month. Maybe it’s time to invest in a coffee pot.
Extras = $125
As much as financial advisors love to tell Millennials and Gen Z we’re just one avocado toast away from bankruptcy, we need to be able to live! And living comes with costs.
No matter how much you budget, there is always a chance that “extra” costs will crop up. Whether you’re having to fix a broken piece of technology, or replace a part on your bike, we’re going to average this at $125 per month.
The Grand Total
So, how does it all add up? It’s a lot.
Groceries/Household Items: $345.56
Dining Out: $220
Health and Fitness: $61.33
Total: $3,417.15 per month. $41,005.80 annually
Numbeo says that the average net salary in Vancouver is $55,412.64, which leaves just over $1,000 per month to pay any additional bills like student debt, credit card bills, savings, and the like.