Your family financial situation will be of top concern after you immigrate to Canada. You are going to have to juggle many expenses to start your new life in Canada. The cost of living in Canada can be quite high compared to earnings, so be prepared to budget and plan how much you earn versus how much you spend.
While getting a credit card and building your credit history is important for your future (i.e., applying for a mortgage), it’s important you don’t get caught up in the mistake of spending too much on credit than you can really afford.
Too much debt can impact your ability to buy a home and build a solid life in Canada.
1. Settle your affairs
Pay your debts. Review your insurance policies. Cancel your monthly services and obtain the necessary proof. Sell your properties, or make solid arrangements on how to manage them from afar. In the stress of moving to another country, it is incredible how easily we can overlook certain details and leave behind loose ends. Never say “I’ll deal with it later,” because settling financial affairs from a distance often turns out costlier and more stressful.
1. Get a Social Insurance Number
Obtaining a Social Insurance Number (SIN) is the first step you need to take in order to navigate the Canadian system. You will need this nine-digit number to open a bank account, apply for health insurance, get employed and access certain services. On the Service Canada website (http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/) you can find instructions on how to apply for a SIN.
A credit card is an essential tool in a modern person’s financial decisions. Some people resent the idea of debt so much that they try to do without credit cards altogether, but this is not a financially sound approach. What you should know is that the Canadian system divides debt in two types: good debt and bad debt. A correct and sensible use of credit cards qualifies as good debt, meaning debt that will help you establish a good credit history in Canada.
Buying your first home
It is indeed a most exciting moment when you can finally buy your first home in Canada. You want to make sure you think every step through and plan for every expense, because there is so much more involved in this process than simply coming up with the money for a down payment.
Opening a bank account is one of the first things any newcomer should do. You will need it to have easy access to your money and to pay for various goods and services; also, most employers prefer to deposit salaries in chequing accounts.
Safety deposit lockers are secured containers kept in a bank’s vault. They can have different sizes and renting costs.
If you plan to bring with you very expensive items such as gold, jewellery, gemstones, collectibles or anything you deem valuable enough to require extra protection, you have the option of renting a safety deposit locker in a Canadian bank. People often use them to store wills, bonds, property deeds, originals of important documents and even sensitive computer data, and film negatives.