The house sold in Calgary

When I first embarked on this journey to BC without my family, the plan was that my wife and child would be in Calgary until perhaps end of June, or July. During which time, I would be able to get finances figured out, save money and find a place for us here.

My mother in-laws house recently sold, and the move date is now May 29th. So I now have a month and a half to get things settled. With the costs of paying bills in both places, I haven’t been able to save anything yet, so now I’m stressed out a bit. I need to come up with at least $3000 in a month and a half. This would be very easy if I wasn’t paying so many bills. Then there is the matter of locating suitable housing in Vancouver. The cost of living is very high here, and housing is incredibly high. Average price for a 3 bedroom home is around 1700-2000 per month.

I pulled out my budgeting spreadsheet to start working out what I can afford. This spreadsheet came from Gail Vax Oxlade’s website, a financial advisor who has a TV show here in Canada called, Til Debt Do Us Part. It was an in-depth worksheet, but there were other financial online tools that should be used with it that were not available. I took these tools, and I merged them, and added several other sheets to the work book.

Basically, your monthly housing expenses shouldn’t go over 35% of your monthly income, and other calculations. Based on my current salary, without the quarterly bonuses, I can afford housing at about $1350/mth. There is nothing in Vancouver for that price except one bedrooms, or studio apartments. We require no less than three bedrooms.

On the Island however, there is plenty of living for that price, and much nicer homes as well. My company wants me to stay on the mainland as this is where the majority of my clients are. This means I am now working out all the math in order to approach them for a raise. If a raise is out of the question, then they need to permit me to move to the Island.

Their concern is the time to commute. All in all, there’s an hour and a half trip across the Straight of Georgia, then the 40 minute bus trip to downtown Vancouver. So, a little over two hours of commute. Many places here on the mainland are also a similar commute. There’s one big difference though. The ferries have Wifi, and I don’t have to drive. I can actually work while commuting, something I cannot do while commuting on the trains and busses here.

Their reasoning is also that it would be hard if I suddenly got a call that needed me to come in for a 7am meeting. Well, for one, this is BC, and while the people here dress very nice, they’re so laid back that I cannot get into a client office until around 9am. This has been my experience so far. The only time I have ever had a meeting early in the morning, has been because of my companies CEO.

IF for some reason, I got a call that one of my clients oddly needed me in at 7am, the ferries first trip of the day starts at 5am, which means I would be downtown Vancouver for 7am if I left that morning. The reason I bought this RV, aside from the need for a place to stay in the meantime, was to have a place to stay when I needed to be in the city. The last ferry of the night is at 10pm, and I have never heard of a company calling a meeting for the next morning that late.

It’s doable, it’s just convincing the company that it is. So today, I am working out all the logistics. Average cost of a home for my family, average travel time, what I need to earn, etc.

This is going to be interesting. I’ve never been restricted to location for where I can live before, and it’s doubly weird that this company is imposing this restriction, being that I work 95% remotely… So far, the only reason I have been in a client office in the month I have been out here is to meet the client. Otherwise, I do everything for them remotely. I just don’t get this…

Hopefully it will all work out.

If you are interested in getting my spreadsheet, I have made it available here.

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