Life In Vancouver As a Young Family

Vancouver

I am tired. Like so many families here in the lower mainland things are getting hard and unmanageable. Things are getting more and more expensive and when I say that I mean solely the cost of rent. I can’t tell you how much it has gone up and how horribly unfair things are being priced. Life in Vancouver as a young family is becoming impossible.

Our family is only still in this area because we decide to spend nearly 70% of our income on rent… barely scraping by with enough for everything else we need. And you want to know the cruel irony of all this?? It is at the point where we have zero savings and that means it would be financially impossible to leave and it is becoming impossible to stay all at the same time. There is no way, having no car or truck to move our family, that we could even afford a truck to move out of town.

I am writing this as old news, I know this. But I want to get this out. I feel so frustrated and I feel like I am constantly drowning. I feel like my kids are too aware of our struggles and I feel angry at how much I rely on my in laws to help us survive.

I am lucky. I have help, but they shouldn’t have to help. I am close to my thirties and I should be able to do this.

But we are drowning.

We are drowning and I don’t know how long we can keep this up. We are a paycheck away from being homeless or one medical emergency away from financial ruin. We will make it though, we have been resilient for 13 years together – we can do it for another 50 years, I know it. I just wish this wasn’t so draining and I could live here and enjoy this city rather than work here to make sure my kids get to stay here while we watch others loving all this city has to offer.  I feel like a spectator in my own city and in my own life sometimes.

We love it here, I have been here my whole life and I couldn’t really see myself anywhere else unless you want to add far off exotic places to that list. Which lets face it isn’t going to happen unless I win the lottery.

This city is beautiful, it has everything and it is home. So why can’t there be a way for us to stay here? Why can’t there be a better way for us to make this work.

Like so many have said before me, only time will tell to be honest.

This too shall pass… I hope.

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2 Comments

  1. wow, ok, first off, YES, a medical emergency could be a disaster …I ended up with emergency surgery and its really hard, PLUS I go back for more surgery in July, so I’ve been living off of EI for 7 weeks now, a total of $1200 so far has been given to me, and usually my biweekly cheq is 1200… I live in SK, I was about your age when we placed an ad in the newspaper saying we were looking to rent to own ..we also put down our amount we could spend ..we got LUCKY..we only had $4000 down but the home owner had two houses in a town outside the city and he wanted to get out of renting …he was super generous and every monthly payment we gave went ALL towards the house but the deal was after 5 yrs we had to get a bank loan (Which was super easy once we had equity in the house) This was 14 yrs ago when housing was cheap and our house was $43,000. Its small though, less then 800sq feet but its ours and both our kids have grown up here and moved out and are on their own (Athough daughter is moving back in til she finds a job now that she’s convocated from school) My only suggestions are when you do shop, stand back and DO I WANT THIS? or do I need this? We’ve been min wage earners all of our lives but we still put the family allowance (in the old days that was for poor families and I think the new gov totally got rid of that program) into RESP’s for the kids. I had a local job that I walked to work and stuck it out for 12 yrs now (Even though I hated it but I had my kids photos on the locker so I could see WHY I was doing this) We had NO TV OR CABLE…for 12 yrs, yes, I had children and YES they adjusted and my daughter was top ten of her class from grade 7 til she graduated (my son was too lazy lol) The irony is my daughter went into film school. We rarely ate out, (We still dont) we didn’t have cell phones, we had a 1984 half ton that we could afford!! I worked nights when I had to, to make sure there was someone at home during the day for the kids and then my husband switched to nights. RIGHT NOW? my husbands gone thru 3 jobs, 1st Canpar closed down in the city, then he went with Candu and that owner owes revenue canada over $200,000 and then he got a job for 16days at a company that only paid $12/hr and was unionized so he as working for less then min wage … NOW he is at a job that is salary and gets $22/hr … things will take a while before we can save again. But I have hopes for both you and I!!! I know we can cut back more if we have to (we don’t even run the a/c and its 29 today)
    I am giving you a virtual hug and hope you can give everyone encouragement on how far you can go

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