Things that are less expensive than the HTC Vive

A grim accounting

With the current exchange rate, the $799 Vive will cost roughly $1099 in Canadian dollars where I live (not counting taxes and any extra charges). That’s a whole lot of cash. While I’m as excited as anyone else at the idea of stumbling around my living room and tripping over the coffee table while slaying demons or shooting space marines, that kind of expense gives me pause. When I start to think of all the things in my life that cost less than first-generation VR, it paints a very grim picture.

Things like:

My last car

I purchased a 1999 Pontiac Sunfire a few years back for just over $600 Canadian dollars from a gentleman I met through Kijiji. When I arrived at the backlot of a local defunct outlet mall, he was there, skinny and nervous. While I was a little apprehensive that this seemed suspiciously similar to the start of a “ripped from the headlines” episode of Law & Order, he nonetheless seemed perfectly fine with selling me the car at a bargain price and the deal went off without a hitch (or stabbing). Just goes to show you can’t trust first impressions.

The extensive engine repair work on my last car

About a month after purchase, just about everything under the hood of the Sunfire exploded in a belch of black smoke and radiator fluid. Thankfully, with the abundance of wrecked or abandoned Sunfires in my area, the price on scavenged replacement parts were minimal. A family friendship with a local mechanic secured me a discount price with a relatively small amount of stifled tears on my part and I was able to get the $600 Sunfire back on the road for a mere $1000 (for a few more months at least).

My monthly rent

That’s right! The ability to actually live in the lower floor of a rapidly deteriorating house adjacent to a train station in an economically depressed area of Southern Ontario is slightly cheaper than living in a magical techno-utopia where imagination is indistinguishable from reality. And now that I’ve said that, I’m going to work very hard to shove that idea from my mind.

A semester’s worth of textbooks for a degree that hasn’t done me a lick of good

For a mere several hundred dollars, you too can load up armfuls of required reading to complete a course that will guarantee you a entry-level position at a mid-sized corporation (or at least an unpaid internship). Sure, you may only use a single chapter from an $80 textbook (that the professor happened to author himself), but how can you put a price on higher education?

52 amiibo to put in your butt

This is assuming you don’t blow through your budget on Rosalinas and Golden Marios. I know, they both look like a lot of fun to put up your butt, however, with eBay scalping being what it is, it’s a luxury your butt just can’t afford.

Direct cremation of an unloved relative

Funerals are devastating, not just emotionally, but financially. My beloved grandfather isn’t doing so good right now and the entire family came together recently to pre-arrange his ceremony. Despite being a fairly modest affair, it still came to over $4000. Worth it to give “G-pa” the send-off he deserves. But, what about a less loved relative? When going over the expenses with the funeral director, I was made aware of a more cost-conscious method of bodily disposal — direct cremation. These no-frills “cash-and-ash” jobs can get the family’s black sheep cremains into a budget urn for just under a grand. I sure hope the next person to die in our family isn’t somebody we all love and admire.

Weeping into my folded arms and dreaming of a different life

A nightly pastime that doesn’t cost a single cent.

About The Author
Nic Rowen
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