Month-to-Month: How 2 UBC Administrators Live on $8,700 a Month in Vancouver

Parents, dog owners and super-full-time workers Joanna and Chris have got it all figured out.

June 22, 2017

By Tessa Vikander

Names: Joanna Hunter and Chris Payne
Gross salary combined: $150,000

Chris Payne and Joanna Hunter share parenting duties for their two-year old daughter Elliott, a $200-per-month coffee habit, and a tendency to finish each other’s sentences. They also each juggle 50-hour-plus work weeks—Chris is the manager of international recruitment for undergraduate students at UBC and travels a lot for work, Joanna is UBC’s manager of academics and compliance in athletics, which means she makes sure student athletes are keeping their grades up. Busy as they are with a kid, a dog and super-full-time jobs, they keep things manageable by maximizing their combined 11 weeks of vacation and by living on campus so they’re never stuck in rush-hour traffic.

The Monthly Bill

Combined net monthly income: $8,731

Two-bedroom apartment on UBC campus …… $2,225
(Subsidized staff-housing rate, there’s a yard for kids to play and lots of families live nearby.)

Utilities …… $30

Renter’s Insurance …… $46

Wireless Internet Package….. $112

Shaw TV Package ….. $106

Daycare …… $1,405
(“It’s a subsidized price, I don’t know by how much,” says Joanna. “The kids-to-instructor ratio is pretty small…she’s in a group of 10 other kids,” adds Chris.)

RRSP …… $100

Data & Talk for two smart phones,
after their $120 combined subsidy from UBC …… $381
(Chris had forgotten to pay his phone bill the month before, and on top of that says “That’s a little bit high because I was away and on roaming. There’s insurance on it in case Elliott throws my phone into the pool.”)

Gas …… $50
(Since they live on campus, they walk to work.)

Car Insurance …… $132

Bus …… $30

Trip to the Aquarium …… $244
(Renewed annual family membership. It “pays for itself after three trips,” says Chris.)

UBC Aquatic Centre Swim Pass….. $70
(“We take Elliott pretty much every weekend,” says Chris. Joanna gets a free pass because she works in the athletics department.)

Restaurants and Pubs …… $693
(They eat out once or twice a week, “lets’ just be real,” says Joanna. This month they hit up White Spot, Burgoo, Panago, Colony Bar, Biercraft, McDonalds and Dough Girl.)

Coffee …… $220
(“That’s where I think most of our money for our down payment is going,” says Joanna. “We each buy coffee once a day during the work week,” says Chris.)

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt ….. $22
(“I like a good Menchie’s now and again,” says Chris. “Lately it’s been a little more often because I’ve been stressed with work. To get the full experience I’d want ice cream, but I’ll take frozen yogurt.”)

Groceries …… $1,265

Liquor Stores …… $246
(“It was my birthday so we hosted a little thing at our place,” says Joanna. “We’ll buy a bottle of wine a week or beer and just have one with dinner.”)

Nail Salon …… $43

Clothing …… $301
(Work clothes for Joanna at Club Monaco.)

Drugstore …… $5

Gifts …… $56

Garden Supplies …… $51

Chris’s NCAA Sports Pool …… $20
(“A one time a year thing,” Chris says.)

Total Spent: $7,853

The Remainder: $878
(“The extra left over either goes towards vacation or we put it towards next month,” says Chris.)

View more in this series here >>>


Month-To-Month is a regular series that looks into the finances of Vancouverites of all backgrounds and all incomes. Are you brave enough to let us peer inside your wallet? Sign up here or email tessavikander@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on vanmag.com!

 

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