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Affordable Living: How to survive in one of the most expensive housing prices in the world

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


Vancouver is expensive, you probably have heard that by now, and if you haven't we are sorry to be the first ones to let you know about this but… Damn it's just an expensive city to live 😢Mostly because of housing, when you compare other services or expenses with cities all around the world then it’s not that bad, but, since housing is for most people it's the biggest expense, it makes the living here quite challenging.


That being said, we want to give you some quick tips on what people in this city do in order to be able to afford living here. Check them out:


Live With Roommates


One, two or even more than six roommates, Vancouver has seen it all! Having roommates it’s probably one of the best ways to save some money and be able to pay the rent without selling a kidney to do so. From renting a two-bedroom apartment with someone else to renting a house with multiple rooms and each room with a different roommate… Heck! We have even heard of 6 people sharing expenses just to be able to afford a 1 bedroom apartment in Downtown Vancouver 😂 Imagine how bad they all wanted to live in that area. Having roommates will not only help you afford to live in a decent place but it will also give you the opportunity to make new friends, get to know new cultures and maybe make lifelong relationships!

*Tip: Keep an eye on us, as in our next issue we’ll tell you everything you need to know for finding a roommate 😉


Identify the Cheapest Neighborhoods


Prices throughout Metro Vancouver keep changing, in a city in which its infrastructure is always developing it’s pretty common for this to happen so… keeping an eye on the latest renting prices throughout the different neighbourhoods might help you save some money 😉


You can use a tool like Liv.Rent, a rental platform that throws monthly reports for Metro Vancouver. For example, for this February the latest report reflects that these 3 neighbourhoods are the cheapest ones for accommodation:



Prioritize


Another thing for you to do is to prioritize! Really think for a second how much you value the location that you want to live in vs the amount of money you spend for living there and the quality of life you could have around these factors.

For example, it is not a secret that most people would like to live in downtown Vancouver. But at what cost? 🧐 Remember that example we mentioned earlier, about 6 people living in a 1 bedroom apartment in Downtown Vancouver? Well, that is not a weird thing to happen, but how comfortable do you think these people really live? Do you know what we are saying? Sure, everything it’s close by for them, grocery stores, malls, restaurants, and it’s a great location to be at if you party every weekend! But what about their day-to-day life in their apartment? A couple of extra mattresses invading the living room, no place for hanging out in the apartment, the washroom always in use, no privacy…

So, think about it when looking for a place to live! What do you value the most? Prioritize what you align better with your lifestyle and make a decision based on that. Maybe a point in between would be a better option? A place near enough to downtown, but far away enough to have more comfort and privacy in your place? Let us know what you think!


Have a Partner


It’s no secret that the housing market has no mercy for single people!! We know the struggle… (the pain is real) And the reason is simple, dividing the costs with your significant other will dramatically help you out with your financial situation.


Quite similar of course to having a roommate, yes! The difference, however, is that having a partner will allow you to consider options that most people wouldn’t consider when living with a stranger as a roommate (or even when living with a friend or family member). ! Bedroom apartments, suites or even a loft are the kind of options that are more suitable for you to rent once you have a partner that is willing to live with you and share the expenses 😉 Plus, it is always an interesting and exciting moment in any relationship, the moment in which you decide to have a palace as a couple 😍 …we can talk about this in another article though.


Avoid Over Expending: Eat in your place, not outside.


Last but not least… Try to avoid “ant” spending! Ant expenses are small sums of money that we spend on everyday pleasures or non-essentials goods which, in the long run, can significantly impact personal finances.


For example, that daily coffee that you drink, or that casual meal that you have at a restaurant because you didn't have the time to prepare your lunch, those things can really impact your finances, as most people tend not to count them on their budgeting plans. Picture this: You have a daily coffee from Tim Hortons, let’s say a Large Black coffee, which goes for $1.99, and you have one every workday. Plus a couple of meals at a cheap restaurant every week as well, which usually are around $15 CAD per person only for the meal, no drinks. The combination of that Coffee + 2 meals outside every week sums almost $2,000 CAD worth of ant expending per year! That would be 2 or 3 months of rent right there 😵 Sooo, reducing your spending, or at least starting to keep track of it, can significantly help you with your personal finances and therefore have a better-planned budget 😉 which can result in you having the opportunity to decide how to spend that money that you just saved by not spending daily… Using it toward a better accommodation option, perhaps?


Please, if you think we might be missing some other suggestions for affordable living let us know 😄 and we’ll happily share it on your behalf to the world! In the meantime, we hope these suggestions help you to define some of your thoughts when it comes to housing in Vancouver 😉


Did you enjoy this article and find it useful? Join our THRIVVE community on Slack. We can't wait to hear from you.

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