According to a recent Environics poll, 40 percent of newcomers to Canada say that managing finances are more difficult than they expected, and half of them are worried that they will not have enough money to live comfortably.
However, Canada is doing a better job of reaching out to help people understand the basics of Canadian banking and finance, so that newcomers can access the information and financial tools they need to succeed in Canada.
Another survey done by Credit Canada suggests a specific subset of new Canadians, the majority of whom are low to moderate income women report their financial situation is “poor” and that they have difficulty accessing credit facilities.
New Canadians don’t always find a job right away, so it is important that they have to budget accordingly to deal with those lean months.
Here are some useful financial tips to help to help newcomers in Canada budget: successful transition to Canada:
Before you move to Canada, look for workshops in your home country run by the Canadian consulate or organizations like the Canadian Immigration Integration Project. These workshops offer customized advice and resources and help new immigrants integrate into the Canadian labour market, while immigrants are still in their home country.
Before you arrive in Canada, check out the free government services offered in the area where you will be stay, and find out if you qualify for government benefits.
You may also wish to consider and book an appointment with a service agency, before you leave so that you can meet with someone soon after you arrive in Canada. These agencies help newcomers and refugees with services to help successfully integrate in Canada.
They can help you:
If you are new to Canada, you may be surprised to learn how many government-supported investment solutions are available for personal investors. One example is the tax-free savings account (TFSA).
The TFSA is one of the most popular financial planning options because of the tax-sheltered savings opportunities. A TFSA is a registered account that allows all of your investment income and capital gains to grow tax-free.
TFSA can be used to save for a variety of short-term and long-term goals, to save for a car or a your very own home.
For more information about TFSAs and to learn more about contribution limits, visit the Government of Canada website.
In this situation it is important that you speak with your financial institution about choosing the right account, based on your needs and potential average monthly income, to help save you money on banking service fees.
Your credit history from another country is not accessible to Canadian financial institutions when you apply for credit in Canada. Many large banks now offer credit solutions to help skilled workers who are new to Canada to get started without prior credit history.
An important part of your financial wellness is to understand your:
Your credit score is a number that reflects your ability to borrow money and pay it back. Your credit score is a key indicator that banks, credit card companies and other institutions use to determine whether you qualify to borrow cash.
Credit scores are calculated using a mathematical formula called the total debt service ratio (TDSR), which is based on a number of factors including:
Your credit score can range from 300 to 900 points — 900 being the highest or most favourable score.
As you settle into Canada and begin to acquire a Canadian credit history, be sure to check your credit score regularly throughout the year.
Tools such as RBC’s CreditView Dashboard allow online banking clients to view their credit score free of charge (with no impact on your score), and allow you to test scenarios such as adding a credit card or a bank loan, and how that could potentially impact your overall credit score.
Person keeping track of their expenses
You can take advantage of online banking tools to help manage your monthly spending, so you know exactly where your money is going.
There are many great financial planning tools online that can help you stay on track for financial success. The Royal Bank of Canada’s NOMI Insights tool is available for mobile banking clients, and helps consumers manage day-to-day finances with timely tips and advice.
While you’re busy living your life, NOMI Insights is keeping an eye on your finances, helping you keep track of spending and upcoming expenses, and providing notifications when funds are needed (such as when regular monthly payments are higher than usual).