Inside of every problem lies an opportunity – Robert Kiyosaki
On February 22, 2018, Daily Hive posted an article about the minimal costs of living in Vancouver for millennials who choose to live alone without roommates. (http://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vancouver-millennial-cost-living-2018#.Wo9-c_tc1m0.facebook.) After I finished reading it, I was surprised by the amounts the research assigned to the individual categories. For example, groceries category mentions $ 211.97. If you divide this amount by 30 days, it is about $7 per day which must mean a rather unhealthy diet including kraft dinners ($1.97), white bread, Mr. Noodles etc. or the person is a magician.
So, I did my own research and used myself as a study group to find out how much does it really cost to live in Vancouver in spring 2018. Every single day in March 2018, I wrote down how much I spent and for what. To be honest, I was quite horrified when I added the expenses at the end of the month.
Here is the break down of my own expenses:
I live alone with my little dog and my rent is $1300 a month. Yes, I know my rent is cheaper because I live in Metrotown and I lucked out. But I can assure you all the other prices (groceries, gas, beauty etc. are the same here as in Vancouver).
I pay electricity around $60 a month. Which means my housing expenses are $569.67 less than in the Daily Hive article.
Internet and Phone:
My Internet connection is $50 a month thanks to being a new Telus client which, unfortunately, will end at some point. At that time I will have to get ready to argue better rate every couple months by threatening to leave Telus for Shaw. My cell phone bill is another $60 and it is this cheap because I dished out $1300 on new iPhone X earlier this year (Oh, my god..so much $$$). The Daily Hive article mentiones $105 which is pretty close to my $110.
I don’t have a tenant insurance (amazing, some savings ;-), although I probably should as there was a fire once in the building in one of the physio shops downstairs. Their dryer caught on fire. Since then I have been cleaning my dryer more regularly… However, I have a health insurance because I am self-employed which is $40 a month. Not sure what kind of insurance is included in the Daily Hive article but it is $20 a month.
I also splurge on having a car. I know, there are all different options like CarToGo, Evo etc., but my car is my freedom and it is always there when I need it. I also have a free parking spot in my condo building which would be wasted if I did not have a car unless I rent it out to somebody living in a van which would make money. Anyways, this freedom of mine cost me $130 a month on insurance (ohhh, how I wish I was still living in Yukon and paying $70) and about $150 in gas because the price of gas in Vancouver is ridiculous and I also went skiing to Whistler in March. Which brings me to the entertainment section.
This one I do not spend much on as I usually perform at dance venues. Which means I get paid to have fun and receive some drink tickets to have more fun. Unfortunately for my wallet, I also like other types of entertainment. In March 2018, I went skiing to Whistler for couple days. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that one day of skiing in Whistler costs $156 now. Thankfully, my friend who works on the mountain had 50% discount coupon, which saved me some dough so that I can spend it in the Scandinave Spa ($73). Altogether, entertainment expenditure for March 2018 was $250 which is $71 less than the amount in the Daily Hive article.
I eat very healthily, following Paleo and Flexitarian diet. About ⅔ of my groceries are organic which caused my groceries bill for March 2018 reach incredible $600. Oh well, I guess what I spend on healthy food I save on pharma. By the way, thanks to my healthy eating I was not sick once this winter. But more about this in one of my next blog posts. My groceries bill is almost 3x higher than the one in the Daily Hive article ($211.97). It really makes me wonder what the study group in the above-mentioned article eats.
The Daily Hive article mentions $75 a month. I spent about $25 on two prepaid hot yoga classes as I exercise at home every-day because it is more convenient and cheaper.
Now on the categories not mentioned in the Daily Hive article (which make me think that the numbers in the study must be based on monthly expenses of a dude who rents downtown Vancouver, eats Kraft dinner every day and exercises in an expensive gym)…
Yes, I eat out sometimes and sometimes I treat my friends to a dinner if they are low on finances or if they help me with something. That made me spend about $500 in restaurants in March 2018 which includes the trip to Whistler.
Yes, I love my almond matcha/espresso latte, but I try to limit intake as these can add up quite quickly. In March 2018, I spent only $66 in coffees. Recently, I found out a great way how to make an almond latte at home without buying an espresso machine. Will show you in one of the future posts, so stay tuned.
My dog MZ also needs to eat, but she is small and her food and toys came to $36 only. Maybe I should try her diet…
Which means nails, lashes, and eyebrows as I need to look somewhat presentable. This one cost me $262. I also go for massage regularly (once a week for half an hour) and sauna once a month in winter which adds up to $115.
Including cleaning, decoration, cosmetics etc. amounted to $120.
Health insurance 41
Car insurance 130
Dog food and toys 36
Massage and sauna 115
House supplies 120
Oh, my f…god. Sooo much money…I could live very comfortably at least 3 months in Nicaragua in winter for this money and enjoy sunshine every day (which would save me money on vitamin D ;-))). One day I will…
My dear reader, thank you that you made it to the end and hopefully enjoyed my article which is the first one of many describing my journey to saving and investing money in one of the most expensive city on the planet to reach my dream of retiring earlier than at 65, staying healthy and youthful as long as possible, living in Nicaragua in winter and up here on the West Coast in summer, spending more time with my family in Europe, traveling more and making more people smile. Feel free to share it with your friends. Thank you, I like you already!