Halifax offers a beer lifestyle on a champagne budget

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I had to leave Halifax because I could not afford to live there. I had a decent professional job with full benefits and pension. I worked in the arts sector and made about $50,000 a year—not bad for mid-level position with a non-profit in NS (my counterparts in Ottawa made $70,000 a year for the same job). No matter, I thought that I could start “Adulting”, stay in my home province and build a life here.

Well, after student loan payments, I realized that I couldn’t afford the hefty $1200 -and-up a month which most one-bedroom rental units costs in this city. That was almost half a month’s net salary. (The taxes are pretty high here!) Landlords are now Air BnB hosts. I realized in this context, I would never be able to live without roommates, afford a car (and park it!) or save for a down payment on a property of my own. I worked hard to gain a promotion—I made a case for a raise. But the job scene is tough here and no matter how talented you are, there are limited positions which pay well and there are Baby Boomers who aren’t retiring.

My only choice was to either find a partner who could share expenses with me (but you can’t rush love!) or move away. So now I live “out west.”

The extra money I earn and the lower cost of living have made a big difference in my quality of life. I no longer feel like I’m living like a dirt poor student with the responsibilities of a professional job. There are opportunities for career growth, promotions and lower taxes. Finally, I can enjoy the fruits of my labour. “Adulting” is nice—but I sure do miss my family in Nova Scotia. I don’t miss roommates and poverty and worry about having no financial future. What’s to be done NS?
—I don’t live here anymore!

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