Canada is a country that many people dream to live in. If you have recently moved to Canada, then you have made a decision you can’t regret. However, you may face too many expenses in the course of your immigration. From accommodation to feeding to settling down, you may spend too much money and be left with nothing to sustain you while you stay in Canada. To prevent such an event, you need to know how to save your money the right way. This is why this article discusses the best ways to save money as an immigrant in Canada and other useful information. Note that what works for one may not work for all, so it is suggested to choose the strategy that is most suitable for you.
What are the Best Ways to Save Money as an Immigrant in Canada?
The following are strategies to help you save your money as a newcomer in Canada:
This is the first thing that you must do to save money in your immigration journey. Take time out and plan your finances. How much do I have? How much do I want to spend? What are the important expenses? What is not so important? These are some of the important questions that you should ask yourself if you want to save some money. You would be surprised how much you would save if you keep to your budget rather than spend money on whatever you see.
2. Don’t hire people to do things you can do for yourself
It’s good to hire people to help you pack and transport your belongings and help around, but this can cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. Instead, you can do these things yourself and save the money you should have used to pay workers. If you can’t do the tasks yourself, you can get your friends or family members to help you out.
3. Sell your belongings and replace them when you can
You don’t have to pack all your belongings from your home country to Canada. If you do so, you can end up spending extra money than you budgeted. Instead, pick out the most important things and move to Canada. You can get new clothes, utensils, and other items as soon as you arrive and settle down. Most importantly, don’t take your car along with you, if you do, you will be liable to pay huge taxes. Instead, sell the car and use the proceeds of the sale to purchase a new one in Canada.
4. End subscriptions
Remember those apps you put on an auto subscription? Your TV subscription? Your gym subscription and others? If you don’t end those subscriptions, your account would keep on being debited for no reason every month! Hence, make sure you end those subscriptions that you no longer needed and save some money.
5. Move at the right time
Moving into Canada during the summer or fall season can be expensive. As a result, it is more costly to hire people to help you at the end of the month or when students are going to school during the fall. During these times, houses can also be more expensive and hard to find. You can even end up settling for an expensive house simply because there are no other options. Hence, it is advisable to move during winter as fewer people move during this season and you would not have to cater for so many expenses.
6. Go for second-hand items
Second-hand items are not always low-quality goods. You can get high-quality second-hand goods at a cheaper price than getting the same item newly. This can also save you a lot of dollars. You can get second-hand furniture, televisions, beds etc at several stores in Canada.
7. Get an already furnished house
Getting an already furnished house may seem more expensive than an empty house. However, you would not need to buy new furniture, television, and other equipment in the house. If you get an empty house then you would have to start buying furniture and other equipment for the house.
8. Eat homemade meals
Since eating out is generally more expensive than cooking at home, cutting back on restaurant meals is one of the easiest ways to increase your savings. If you still want to eat out, attempt to cut back on how often you do it and use credit cards that offer rewards for eating out. To cut costs when you eat out, you can also choose appetizers or divide the costs with your partner or friend. Additionally, skipping dessert and drinks can help you stretch your money. Also, try not to buy junk food all the time. If you can cook, do so and take your food to work or wherever you are.
9. Prepare when you shop for groceries
As an immigrant, you can save some dollars when you shop for groceries by doing some preparation. Make a list of what you need and check your store before you go shopping to prevent making impulsive purchases. To optimize your savings when you shop, learn how to obtain discounts and sign up for reward programs. Your neighbourhood store’s loyalty program can get you access to extra discounts in exchange for providing your phone number or email address. You can also save more money but using a cashback credit card. Some cards give up to 5% cash back, but in order to avoid incurring interest and fees, you’ll want to make sure to pay off your balance each month or you would be in debt
10. Delay your purchase
One way to prevent yourself from overspending is to give yourself some time to ponder before making a purchase, especially with online shopping. You can do this by adding the item to your cart when purchasing online and then exiting the page or doing something different to give yourself extra time to review it. This can be to your advantage as sometimes if the store finds out you abandoned the cart, they might even give you a coupon code. You might want to try shorter intervals, like a 24- or 48-hour pause or longer times like a whole month. You may soon find that you do not need the items as much as you thought.
11. Pay yourself before spending your income
Paying yourself is one of the best ways to save money as an immigrant in Canada. The majority of people pay their bills and make purchases as soon as they get paid, planning to save money for later. Unfortunately, their income would have been exhausted before they know it. To avoid this, pay yourself first before you spend money on anything. You can then save the money and spend the rest on your expenses. Whatever you can afford to set aside for your savings could be 25 per cent of your income or 80 per cent of your salary. This way you are securing your future because nothing is constant.
12. Get a separate savings account
Create a bank account and deposit just your saved funds there and do not spend it. Put your money in the account and forget about it for a while. Do it at the beginning of the month as well because you have a better possibility of saving money then. Place a higher priority on saving in this account as the money there would act as your emergency funds. This means that you won’t be at risk even in the future when you urgently need money and so you can fall back on your savings.
13. Don’t buy everything
Finally, you don’t have to buy everything! Sometimes, overlook the unnecessary things and focus on the necessary things. For instance, you don’t have to buy those new pair of earrings, or that dress, or jeans. If you bought one in December, you should buy another one the following one the next year or so. Avoid falling into the “showing off” trap frequently especially if you are a student because you can be distracted by what your friends have. It is advisable to spend your money, at least occasionally, on things you need rather than things you want. Stop purchasing items that you could live without for a long time!
What is the Average Cost of Living in Canada?
If you are a newcomer to Canada, then you are probably looking for the exact cost of living in Canada. Note that Canada generally has a high standard of living owing to its background, opportunities, citizens etc, so it may be a little bit expensive living in the country. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to get the exact living costs as the prices of rent, transportation etc can vary depending on the city you choose to live in. For instance, cities like Vancouver, Toronto etc are quite expensive and if you want to live in these cities, you should save more money and cut down on unnecessary expenses.
The average cost of living would also depend on the number of people immigrating to Canada with you. For instance, a single immigrant, a couple, a family of three, four etc. The average living costs in Canada are:
- For an individual per month, excluding rent, it is $1,245.
- For a student per month, excluding rent, it is $880.
- For a family of two per month, excluding rent, it is about $2,500.
- For a family of four per month, excluding rent, it is almost $5,000.
- For students, private accommodation can cost about $625 per month, while accommodation at the university can cost about $800 per month.
What are the Average Costs for Food and other Basic Items in Canada?
Again, the cost of feeding cannot be exact as this may depend on the city you reside in. However, the average cost for food in Canada is about $300, and this includes groceries and shopping from the stores. If you are looking for a cheap option that is readily accessible then you can shop for your groceries at Walmart. As earlier stated in this post, it is better to cook your meals at home than to eat out. Eating at a restaurant is quite costly, for instance, a three-course meal could cost about $65, and if you are eating alone, you can pay about $25. Other costs of meals include:
- A meal in an affordable restaurant can cost about $18 and $75, depending upon the number of people.
- Domestic beer costs about $6 to $8.
- The price of 1.5 L of water is about $1.6.
- Eggs, rice, bread, and milk cost around $2.5 to $4.
- Fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, apples, and bananas, can cost about $1.5 to $5.
- A midrange bottle of wine may cost about $15.
What is the Average Cost for Clothing and Utility in Canada?
Depending on the brand, clothing for men and women can range in price from $45 to $130. A one- or two-bedroom apartment typically costs $168 per month for cooling, power, garbage, etc. The price of internet service at a speed of at least 60 mbps is roughly $80 per month.
For leisure expenses and gym memberships, you’ll need to budget an extra $150 every month.
As an immigrant in Canada, you may be tempted to buy everything that comes your way in a bid to settle down. This isn’t bad but in the long run, such actions can tell on your finances and that is certainly not a good way to start your life in Canada. Although, saving money as a newcomer in the country can be quite challenging but the decisions you make now can impact your next few years in Canada. This is why we came up with this article. We have shown you some costs of living in Canada and how best you can save your money to have an enjoyable experience. As earlier stated, do what works for you as every individual is different.