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Back on the Coast

Back on the Coast

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Money and Common Sense

"Money, get away; Get a good job with good pay and your OK..." excerpt Pink Floyd song.

The fact is, that in present times, the statement above doesn't ring true. The average working persons' annual income, in my area, is approx. $25K. Meanwhile, the average one bedroom apartment annual rent is $8.4K. Resulting with the average working person spending 34% of their gross income, or 42% of the after-tax dollars, just for shelter.

That means the average workin' stiff, according to the government's own definitions, lives in core-housing need, that being they spend more than 30% of their income for rent. Also, almost 25% of the area's working people, make less than $13K gross income, so it would cost them 65% or more, of their income for housing. Is it no wonder that people are doubling up in apartments, moving back in with parents, or creating innovative housing methods. As well, new building of rental properties has been on a long decline for decades, resulting in low supply and inferior quality units.

This was the crux of the matter for me. If you could even find an apartment you wanted to live in, you had to pay at least $700 monthly for rent, if not, $800 ($9.6K/yr.) or $900 ($10.8K/yr). That's a lot of after-tax dollars! Then you want to fill the place with furniture, put in TV/computer feed, and so on. No wonder people's money seems to evaporate.

That's if you can get an apartment. When I moved back to Whistler a while back, there was no accomodation available. A one-bedroom apartment did rent for $800/mo., but, there were none available. Period. Lots of jobs, but no accomodation. Hmm. That's when vandwelling, first really provided a solution for me. I didn't really want to commit to the area anyway, I was only there for six months. I could save most of the I would have spent on rent, except for a rec centre fee ($50/mo.), for getting cleaned up and recreation. It was a large savings, resulting in an extra $4K in my bank account!

When I moved back to the big city, similar story. There were apartments available, for around $800/mo., usually run down and in sketchy areas. Did I really want that? No! So, I joined another health club, began to stealth vandwell in nice neighborhoods, work full-time and bank cash. I have a nice budget, so I can afford mobility, healthy food, health insurance, recreation and entertainment; and still save money. It seems to come down to this:

1/ Spend the cash to rent an apartment.
2/ Or by vandwelling, have the cash available for a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle.

You tell me, which choice makes common sense.

There's an old tenet of economy, which goes something like, 'Live within your means'. That's what I'm doin'. ;-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dude I like your site! I saw it when you left a comment for me, that I left on Yahoo Van Dweller group. Is this a fairly new site? I haven't seen it before. "Money and Common Sense" this is exactly what I was saying in my comment on the VD site. Seems like this will be the wave of the future, if housing doesn't change. Well at least for those who can think out side the box; not for the squares.

Okay nuff said, gonna continue to peruse your site to see what else you have.

-Succatash T. Jones.