Recently, Reddit User u/hikingmargothedstryr asked the question to r/AskACanadian, "What fun things can you do on your salary where you are located?" And it was interesting! So here are the 17 responses that motivated me to make a proper budget so I can have fun in my expensive city:
It's important to remember that as of March 2023, the average monthly salary (after taxes) in Toronto, just for example, is $4,287.16 CAD with an average estimated monthly cost of $1,027.40. CAD before adding in rent. Everyone's situation is different, so whatever you can afford to have fun with is valid!
1. "I'm in Alberta and make $125k/year."
"I spend time flying my airplane, and do a lot of camping and backpacking in the Rockies in the summer months. In the winter I like to downhill ski at my local hills with my kids and take a couple of trips to the Rockies to do the same. I also do some gaming (more so in the winter months). People always hammer me about my airplane, but it cost me $10k to buy into and about $4k per year to operate as I own a share in partnership with others."
2. "I live in Ontario. I spend a decent amount on cooking - getting good knives and kitchen gear, high-quality ingredients if I can find them, etc. I also have a high-end gaming computer I built in the pandemic. And I'm planning to travel out of the country more."
3. "I live in NB. I make $50k/year, my wife makes $60k/year and we have an 18 month old."
"We don't have a ton of room for luxuries but we own our home and the fridge is always stocked. I have a motorcycle and a PS5. My wife treats herself to nice makeup and expensive perfume from time to time. We'll have take out 2-4 times a month and we're also able to save a little bit each month. We're not swimming in cash but we're not living paycheque to paycheque either. It would be nice to take a trip from time to time but that's just not quite in the budget yet."
4. "My wife & I gross about $90,000/year and live in rural south-eastern Ontario."
"We're both avid console gamers, but haven't made the jump to current-gen yet. We enjoy taking our Jeeps out on local trails and generally just cruising around with the tops down on nice days. Stopping at food trucks is mandatory for the proper experience. And we try to get out camping once or twice a year."
5. "I live in the North with nothing available. I work about 45 hours of designated overtime each pay period, and I have enough to pay for my share of a 10x13 ft. greenhouse that my neighbour and I are going to attempt this year."
6. "I live in Southern Ontario — I make $105k/year and my wife makes the same."
"I spend my time skydiving. The cost to get into it — becoming fully trained, licensed, and geared out as an independent jumper (not a tandem passenger) — is around $10K. After that, it's about $35 per jump from 13,500 feet."
7. "I live in SK and make $85k/year — really 50k after deductions."
"I have some expensive hobbies, but I have spread out the costs over the years and I deal hunt. I have an '80s TransAm that I cruise in the summer, it took about 6 years of work and I put about $15k into it. I love fishing on my boat, and I put about $10k into it. My current project is building an airplane. I'm saving for what I'll need next and I'll buy parts I'll need in the future when I see good deals. I'm still able to own a home and work on that too."
8. "I live in Eastern Ontario and I make a little less that $50k/year."
"I'm mostly frugal in that I use everything until it cannot be used anymore (cars, furniture, electronics, clothing). So it feels like I have a lot of disposable income, and I don't think twice about ordering takeout, or going away for a weekend and staying in a hotel if the mood strikes."
9. "I live in Victoria, BC and there are lots of things to do that are cheap."
"I went to the Vic Symphony for about $40 last week and indoor mini-golf the week before that. There's hiking at Goldstream Park and a huge free and very beautiful garden at Beacon Hill Park. There are also theatres, museums, and tons of pubs."
10. "I live in Vancouver, and I work my ass off during the spring and summer making minimum wage and save that money so I can take off to a warmer place in the winter."
— Reddit User
11. "I'm in Hamilton making only about $40k/year. I can afford a coffee or a movie every once in a while."
12. "I live in Ottawa and make $84k/ year. I bought a used canoe for $250, spent another $200 on equipment for it, and now I have a grand time on the weekends."
13. "I live in Northern BC, and my household's combined income is $250k/year."
"We are leaving for Vegas soon, and for Europe for three weeks this summer. We go skiing and snowboarding a couple of times a year at local resorts; and once or twice a year we go to NHL games. We also glamp throughout the year, and I like to go on mountain biking trips."
14. "I live in Quebec City and make slightly above minimum wage. If I'm real careful with my money I can afford to travel abroad."
15. "I live in New Brunswick and make a little less than $100k/year. My wife stays home with the kids now. I can afford our house, and a boat to take the kids fishing."
16. "I WFH in Northwestern Ontario and I make $160k/year. I can afford my hobby of going fishing almost every day."
— Reddit User
17. "Living in Ontario, I can afford nights out with friends, team sports, take-out, winter trips, road trips, and camping. I live by a lake and also own a kayak. Even when I was making considerably less than I do now, I lived like this because I enjoy it."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.