How this Vancouver musician lives on $1,000 a month, sort of

Neither success in the music business or a long-distance relationship come easy, but Tim Clapp is making it work his way

July 12, 2016

By Jessica Barrett / Photo: Willem Thomas

Name: Tim Clapp
Age: 28
Gross salary: $12,000

Newlywed Clapp has spent the last year performing a transatlantic balancing act. Immediately after getting married last March, his wife Annabelle was forced back to her native England, where she’s been waiting for her permanent residency to go through. In the meantime, Clapp has been flying to see her every three months, living in a van and couch surfing to cut down on expenses and working part-time at Neptoon Records. He also has his own record label, Kingfisher Bluez, and performs as singer-songwriter Tim the Mute.

The Monthly Bill

Income after taxes: $1,000

(plus $800 from selling personal effects)

Fast food …… $600
(“I spend at least $20 a day on food. It adds up living in a van.”)

Vehicle Insurance …… $200

Phone plan …… $136

Coffee …… $300
(“I’d say I spend $7-10 a day on coffee. I don’t really think about it too much.”)

Flight to England …… $795
(“I’ve been supplementing my income by selling books and records I don’t use anymore.”)

Vegan crab cakes from Whole Foods …… $40

Printing and distributing records for his label …… $100
(“I’m a bit vague about how much money comes in. I think I mostly break even.”)

Shopper’s Drug Mart (Cold FX, acid reflux meds)…… $15

Biography of Alasdair Grey …… $6
(“He’s like Scotland’s Proust.”)

Parking …… $18

Mushy peas and IRN BRU, a Scottish soft drink, from Celtic Treasure Chest …… $17

Storage locker …… $173

Apple Music subscription …… $10 

Total Spent: $2,410

The Remainder: -$610
(“There have been a lot of expenses in the last few months. When Annabelle and I finally reunite we’ll have this nice apartment where the rent is cheap. I’ll be getting a second job and we’ll just try to work our way out of debt.”)

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