Living Wage in Vancouver is $19.62

Living Wage Vancouver

Vancouver is an expensive city, many people that call it home have to deal with this fact all the time. The living wage for a family in Metro Vancouver is is $19.62, but the minimum wage is so much lower at $10.25. Quickly, you’ll see that the minimum isn’t enough for an individual to live comfortably in Metro Vancouver.

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At $19.62 per hour for Metro Vancouver  for each parent working full-time, the living wage covers only bare bone expenses (see bare bones budget photo below). This living wage calculation does not cover:

  • credit card, loan, or other debt/interest payments
  • savings for retirement or for children’s future education
  • owning a home
  • anything beyond minimal recreation, entertainment, or holiday costs
  • costs of caring for a disabled, seriously ill, or elderly family member
  • much of a cushion for emergencies or tough times

With the bare bones budget totaling $64,932 a year, it’s easy to see how minimum wage simply won’t cut it for a family. Even if the cost of shelter was reduced by half, you’re still looking at $56,292 in annual expenses. Ultimately, our high housing costs take the biggest chunk out of the pie, leaving little for other things.

For full details, download 2013 Metro Vancouver Living Wage.

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  • Alex

    This really needs to specify that it is a budget for a family. Living downtown, I am fully comfortable and have plenty of breathing room for a total of less than $2000 monthly. The rest of my pay cheques are banked.

  • Jeremy Senko

    This is really not that shocking (although 775 for food seems crazy high, but again, Vancouver) and to me is the premiere reason that an influx of urban growth is going to continue in the surrey metro area. It’s not there yet, but for costs at almost half for double the space, it’s not even a matter of choice anymore. The planners are building smart and are putting people in positions to succeed. Are there issues? Of course. But in the long haul, Surrey will outgrow Vancouver, simply because of how alienated the youth of today (myself included) feel about living down there. I know I want to explore and have adventure, so why would I spend all of my money a month just on a home, which is probably half the size of one I could buy on a transit line, 45 minutes or less out of the core?

    We’ll see what 5-10 years brings, but I have a feeling the hub of young people will be forced to migrate to Surrey and where the creative and emerging thinkers go, so to does the development, and thusly grows the metropolis.

  • Guest

    “45 minutes
    or less out of the core?” This extra time (plus not being worn out from commute) has given me opportunity to learn things that have helped me advance my career, and because of that my income has grown at a higher rate than my expenses.

  • Jeremy Senko

    I totally agree with you. I read constantly on the skytrain and have used that time to further my skills in adjoining areas. I think that it is a great benefit, so I hope you didn’t misconstrue my meaning.

  • Michael

    That really depends on your wage that you make. Considering almost every job these days that don’t require education starts at 10.25 an hour, you would not survive. To make 2000 monthly before taxes is factored, you have to be making at least 12.50 an hour..

  • lele

    this place is a junk place to live so don’t know why it’s so expensive

  • mrdeez

    1440 seems low for shelter. especially if you’re paying over 700 for food.

  • Alwyn

    A person’s income can only grow to the extent that they do as a person.

  • M

    Then leave :@

  • ivana

    still, ahead of New York and London. That, I find is crazy.

  • Carlo

    Based on experience, one can live quite well on a mildly comfortable budget of around $1800-2000 per month in the city.

  • Brittney

    Maybe solo but not with a child… or with student debt. Also, $2000 is still more than a full-time minimum wage job after taxes makes.

  • Brittney

    And yet, often, you can only grow as a person once your basic needs are met. It is quite the privilege to have the time/psych&emotional peace to dedicate that time to one’s self. If you are worried about paying bills and making sure your child has food to eat and a room over your head, your personal growth takes a back seat.