An immigrant’s guide to saving

Woman Placing Coins into Her Change PurseYou had to show proof of substantial savings in order to immigrate to Canada, so you already know how to save. Don’t stop now! Saving now that you’re in Canada is even more important.

Of course, it may take some time to find a good job, so you will be dipping into those hard-earned savings to get by for a while, but the minute you start earning income again, remember to pay yourself a little first! Put a little bit away for your family and future, either in a simple savings account or through other forms of investment.


Three piggy banks with retirement savings messageSaving for your golden years (a.k.a. your retirement) is an important aspect of building up your savings. Most employment in Canada does not come with retirement pension packages. There are exceptions, such as certain government or union jobs, but most Canadians are on their own when it comes to retirement savings.

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RRSP, TFSA, and Other Forms of Investing

Saving for retirement is one of those financial moves that many people postpone for much too long. Whether for lack of information or sheer neglect, failing to plan for old age is a mistake many live to regret. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) covers only a fraction of your income as a worker, so you will need to take extra steps to ensure you have a comfortable retirement.

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Managing your finances after immigrating

Piggy bank with savings chart on black boardYour 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.

Top 10 Financial Steps you need to take before leaving

Financial Steps

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.

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Top 10 Financial Steps you need to take upon arrival

Top 10 Financial Steps you need to take upon arrival

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 ( you can find instructions on how to apply for a SIN.

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Obtaining a Credit Card

Visa and Master Card

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.

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Personal Finance

canadian two dollar coins

One of the most important factors in your personal financial situation is how much you earn, versus how much you spend. It’s important not to spend more than you earn, but many Canadians get caught in too much debt, trying to “keep up with the Jones” — in other words, have everything you want, from cars to electronics, even if you can’t afford it.

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Safety Deposit Locker

Key with safety deposit lockerSafety 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.

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