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Maybe some of us will cut cable, and spend our time reading, doing art projects, or writing the next great Canadian novel. At the very least all of us will come away with a better appreciation of our own finances, become educated consumers, and learn to distinguish between our needs and wants.
A fool and his money…
Home is where the money goes
Whistlerites spend most of
their income on shelter
By Claire Piech
“What we pay for our daily
needs – transportation, food and recreation – are definitely in
line with other resort communities. It is really the housing that is out of
whack with other places.”
-Dan Wilson, Whistler 2020
Meet the Reynolds, a
fictional family of four who will have a hard time paying their accommodation
bills this month.
Together, Ms. and Mr.
Reynolds bring in an annual income of $87,500, which is the median income household
income for Whistler residents receiving two salaries, according to the Resort
Municipality of Whistler (RMOW).
Unfortunately for the
Reynolds, the price to rent their three-bedroom townhouse has gone up
dramatically over the past three years, making it harder to afford the basic
cost of shelter. In 2005, the average price to rent a three bedroom,
unrestricted home in Whistler was $2,329, according to statistics collected by
the Whistler Housing Authority (WHA). In 2008, that number rose by almost 20 per
cent to $2,780.
Using these numbers, the
Reynolds will spend approximately 38 per cent of their income on rental costs
Such a high percentage goes
against the dogma of personal finances, which states that a family should never
spend more than 30 per cent of their income on housing. And while the Reynolds
are a make-believe family created for the purposes of this article, the numbers
describing their situation are real: The average family in Whistler spends a
disproportionate amount of their income on shelter costs.