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Cost of Living in Calgary

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're moving to Calgary, understanding the the cost of living in Calgary helps you know what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Cost of Living in Calgary - Cost of Living in Calgary

Apartment Rentals The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Calgary is around $1,000 per month. Two-bedroom apartments typically cost around $1,200 per month. Prices can vary depending on the area and amenities.
Apartment Purchases The average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Calgary is around $200,000. Two-bedroom apartments typically cost around $250,000. Prices can vary depending on the area and amenities.
Transportation Calgary has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, light rail, and commuter rail. A single fare is $3.50, and a monthly pass is $99. There are also several ride-sharing services available in the city.
Groceries The average cost of groceries in Calgary is around $200 per week for a family of four. Prices can vary depending on the type of food purchased and the store.
Restaurants The average cost of a meal at a restaurant in Calgary is around $15. Prices can vary depending on the type of restaurant and the location.
Utilities The average cost of utilities in Calgary is around $200 per month. This includes electricity, water, and natural gas. Prices can vary depending on usage.
Private School Tuition The average cost of private school tuition in Calgary is around $10,000 per year for preschool, $12,000 per year for elementary school, $14,000 per year for middle school, and $16,000 per year for high school. Prices can vary depending on the school.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Calgary

"The cost of living in Calgary is generally considered to be quite reasonable. Groceries, transportation, and utilities are all relatively affordable, while housing costs can vary depending on the area. Eating out can be expensive, but there are plenty of affordable restaurants and cafes to choose from. Overall, Calgary is a great place to live with a reasonable cost of living," said one expat living in Calgary.

Can I live in Calgary on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Calgary for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find a place to live that's affordable. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods like Eau Claire, Beltline, and Mission might be out of your budget. Instead, consider looking for a place in more affordable areas like Forest Lawn, Marlborough, or Pineridge. You might have to settle for a smaller apartment or a shared living situation to keep your rent within budget.Next, you'll need to be mindful of your transportation costs. Owning a car can be expensive, so you might want to consider using public transit, which is quite reliable in Calgary. A monthly transit pass costs around $106, which is much cheaper than paying for gas, insurance, and maintenance on a car. If you can, try to find a place to live that's close to your work or near a transit line to make your commute easier.When it comes to groceries and eating out, you'll need to be budget-conscious. Shopping at discount grocery stores like No Frills or Walmart can help you save on your grocery bill. You might also want to consider cooking at home more often and limiting how often you eat out, as dining out can be quite expensive in Calgary.For entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in the city. Calgary has many beautiful parks and outdoor spaces, like Nose Hill Park and Fish Creek Provincial Park, where you can go for walks or hikes. The city also hosts various free events and festivals throughout the year, like the Lilac Festival and the Calgary International Film Festival. You can also take advantage of free admission days at local museums and attractions.In summary, living on $1,500 a month in Calgary is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, using public transit, being budget-conscious with groceries and dining, and enjoying low-cost entertainment options, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Calgary.

Can I live in Calgary on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Calgary for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll want to look for housing in more affordable neighborhoods. Some of the more expensive areas like Mount Royal, Elbow Park, and Britannia might be out of your budget. Instead, consider looking for a place in neighborhoods like Bridgeland, Sunalta, or Killarney. These areas are still close to downtown and have good public transit options, but the rent is more affordable.Next, you'll want to be mindful of your spending on things like dining out and entertainment. Calgary has a great food scene, but eating out can get expensive quickly. Try to cook at home more often and take advantage of grocery store sales. When you do go out, look for happy hour deals or daily specials to save some money. The same goes for entertainment – there are plenty of free or low-cost events happening around the city, so keep an eye out for those.Another thing to consider is transportation. If you can, try to rely on public transit, biking, or walking instead of owning a car. Parking and gas can add up quickly, and Calgary's public transit system is pretty reliable. If you do need a car, consider carpooling with coworkers or using a car-sharing service like Car2Go for occasional trips.Finally, be prepared for the cost of utilities, especially during the winter months. Heating can be expensive, so make sure to budget for that and try to conserve energy where you can. Overall, living in Calgary on $3,000 a month is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices," said one expat living in Calgary.

Can I live in Calgary on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Calgary for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make a few sacrifices in terms of location and housing type. For example, you might not be able to afford a luxurious downtown condo, but you can still find a nice apartment or townhouse in a more affordable neighborhood.Some of the more expensive neighborhoods in Calgary include Eau Claire, Beltline, and Mount Royal. These areas are close to downtown and have a lot of high-end condos and townhouses, so they might be out of your budget. On the other hand, there are plenty of more affordable neighborhoods where you can still find nice places to live. Some of these include Bridgeland, Inglewood, and Killarney.Bridgeland is a great option because it's just across the river from downtown, so you'll still have easy access to all the amenities you're used to. Inglewood is another good choice, as it's a bit further from downtown but still has a lot of character and charm. Killarney is a bit further out, but it's a nice residential neighborhood with good access to public transit.In terms of sacrifices, you might have to give up some square footage or live in an older building, but you can still find a comfortable place to live within your budget. You might also have to be a bit more conscious of your spending on things like dining out and entertainment, but there are plenty of affordable options in Calgary for those as well.Overall, I think you'll find that living in Calgary on $5,000 a month is definitely doable, and you can still enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with modern amenities. Just be prepared to make a few compromises in terms of location and housing type, and you should be able to make it work," commented an expat living in Calgary.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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