Canada’s Cost of Living
January has been a tough month for many as we prepare for what could be a tough year ahead. Inflation has caused turmoil in communities and avid savers, interest rates have led to real estate worrisome and supply issues has caused food shortages while also impacting the prices of food.
Now very often you are likely hearing “inflation went up by this amount” or “did you hear how much the cost of living went up this year, it’s up X percentage.” Now you are probably wondering how much has money truly gone up. We did the math for you.
We looked at Cost of Living across the country rather than how it looked on a province to province metric. Across Canada, you have likely seen different things rise up in costs depending on the region. British Columbia and Ontario specifically got hard hit by real estate costs, where Alberta has kept the costs more tame in comparison. All provinces saw food shortages, especially in rural communities and places that were affected by extreme weather events, such as the foods that devastated BC and left communities such as Merritt and Abbotsford without the opportunity to help with the normal food supply they normally provide to the province.
We did some research and looked up how the cost of living has changed in the past 3 calendar years to give you some perspective.
2020: Cost of living only went up 0.72%
2021: Cost of living went up 3.40%
2022: Cost of living went up approximately 6.50% (the exact number is not known yet)
In general it is increasing, but you may be surprised to see that it was not until 2022 that we saw a major increase in the cost of living. The average is 2% inflation year over year, but as we know that has not been the case over the past couple of years.
We ran the metrics to see how much $1000 would have to be today to worth the same amount as it was before 2020. if you had $1000 at the beginning of 2020, then that same $1000 would need to be $1109.13 today. That is besides the fact that rent has increased substantially, many food items have gone up even more, and some provinces such as BC saw gas prices rise 50-80%!
It is also worth noting that if you had $1000 in the bank and you did not touch it at all, then in that same time period, that $1000 would now be worth $901.61 in comparison to today’s dollars.
What Does this all Mean?
I understand that looking at the positives in this situation may not be easy, but economy’s do evolve and we are slowly starting to open up to new opportunities.
Social positives have happened in the public structure that a wide variety of people agree on. Work life balance has improved with many jobs allowing for flexible work conditions (in the office and at home). 72% of Canadians in a survey put flexible arrangements as a positive outcome.
Online opportunities have also become greater in the education world. Now it is possible for students to work from home if sick, need time away from the social pressures or in another country. 63% of people in the survey viewed it as positive.
Another positive is people being more willing to wear a mask, allowing for safer public spaces, in which 61% of Canadians in the survey agreed.
We all know that online shopping became a big thing, and because of that, 76% of people view it as a positive outcome of COVID-19 (let’s not forget the waste though of cardboard boxes and plastic).
All in all we want to show that the COVID-19 pandemic has not been all negative. People feel that they got closer to family and close friends and took in every moment as more special. People went walking more and included it as a fun hobby during the pandemic, especially the worst lockdowns.
Cost of Living went up, but it also has for everyone. We are going to get through this together and the economy and our country will come back even stronger and more improved then ever before.