Living on a $15 per hour wage


I had an interesting conversation with a friend over whether we can live off a $15 per hour wage in Vancouver, BC.    $15 per hour equates to $30,000 annually  if you work 40 hours a week for 50 weeks (assuming  you take 2 weeks off for vacation).   This equates to a monthly income of $2071.09.

Her answer was: No, I cannot live on $15 / hour wage.    

The reason she said it is not possible because of her lifestyle: she smokes, she drinks and she loves her starbucks.  If she changed her lifestyle a bit, I am pretty positive, she would have no problem living off a $15 / hour wage in Vancouver.

I said it is possible to live off a monthly income of $2071.09 with the following breakdown:

Rent Basement Suite (utilities included) $700
Food $200
Eat Out $75
Transit (2 zones) $124
Household Supplies $50
Cell Phone (250 mins + 6 Gigs Data) $68
Internet $40
Entertainment $75
Clothes $75
Gifts $50
RRSP $250
Savings $250
Emergency Fund $110
Total $2,067

With such an income,  I would pretty much live bare bones minimum.  I can always find a cheap place to rent such as a basement suite.  A basement suite with 1 bedroom in Vancouver or in the suburbs can range between $600 – $900 dollars a month.  Some may include utilities.

The basement suite I found for the purpose of this post is located in Vancouver.  It is a 1 bedroom place and it includes all utilities.  Since you can watch almost everything online, there is no need for cable.  The cell-phone cost is actually the cost of my phone cell-phone bill: I have 250 minutes daytime minutes with unlimited evening and weekends and 6 GB of data with fido.    I put down 2 zones for a transit pass because I need to travel farther to get to my work place.

At the end of the day, I think anyone can live off a $15 per hour job ($30K income) if you can adjust your lifestyle.

What do you think?  Will you be able to live off $15 per hour job? 

~The Money Pincher ~








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