How much money I'd save if I moved from Vancouver to another BC city
Ever find yourself wondering how much money you would be saving if you didn’t live in Vancouver?
WorkBC’s Cost of Living Calculator is a free and fascinating tool that can estimate how much money you need to live in various cities around the province. You can even compare cities, and it makes handy graphs for you.
I put my career, my neighbourhood, and my mode of transportation into the calculator, and it came up with an estimate for my cost of living in Vancouver:
After all is said and done, the calculator estimates that I’d have $958 leftover after paying my taxes, my housing costs, and “consumables” for a family of one.
While the tool is highly customizable — you can add expenses like debt repayment, savings, and your exact salary – it is by no means perfect. I think it underestimates housing costs, so I included the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment per Zumper for each city. But the calculator is at least a good jumping-off point to understand how cities differ in affordability.
Let’s use this tool to figure out if there’s another city I can move to in BC where I can have more money left in the bank after my basics are covered:
Vancouver to Victoria
Total monthly savings: $124
Average one-bedroom rental price: $2,054
Moving to Victoria isn’t going to give me big savings. First off, rent in Victoria is not cheap. Plus, it costs about $100 to take the ferry with a car to and from the Mainland, eating into my “savings.” For more information on budgeting while living in Victoria, click here.
Vancouver to Kelowna
Total monthly savings: $276
Average one-bedroom rental price: $1,970
At first glance, I’d save a lot by moving to Kelowna. But the calculator estimates a paltry $877 for rent, and the consumables and health costs are higher than it calculated for Vancouver. I guess if you rent a place for less than $900, it will leave you with more money in the bank, I’m just not sure how possible it is to find a unit at that price.
For more information on budgeting while living in Kelowna, click here.
Vancouver to Saanich
Total monthly savings: $277
Average one-bedroom rental price: $2,099
One of the best cities in Canada to build wealth, a move to Saanich on Vancouver Island could help me keep some money in the bank.
Vancouver to Kamloops
Total monthly savings: $283
Average one-bedroom rental price: $1,550
Moving to Kamloops could save me almost $300 per month. The estimated savings is almost entirely thanks to an anticipated massive reduction in rental prices.
Vancouver to Nanaimo
Total monthly savings: $412
Average one-bedroom rental price: $1,770
Nanaimo on Vancouver Island seems to be where I’d save the most money thanks to the low rental costs.
From this experiment, I learned that the basics you need to get by are about the same everywhere. It’s getting a deal on rent that can drive the biggest savings. So, it looks like I’m staying put in Vancouver for now.
Have you been thinking of a move to save money? Let us know in the comments.