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Top Tips for Saving Money on your Canadian Emigration

One of the most stressful things about planning a move overseas is getting the funds together to make the venture possible.

When thinking about emigrating to Canada you need to consider both how to fund the move and how to manage your money once you’re living in the nation.

Canada is one of the world’s stronger economies and offers a high quality of life. While this makes it a more desirable emigration location, it also means that the cost of living is unlikely to be much lower than what you’re used to.

If you’re one of those people who struggles to get a grip on their finances but want to turn over a new leaf before heading to your new home, there are a few tips you can take on board when planning your relocation.

1. Don’t Hide from Your Spending Habits

It should come as no surprise to hear this, but before you can start cutting costs you need to be aware of what you’re currently spending. This doesn’t mean just having a vague idea of how much money you spend each month, but having a detailed record of exactly what you spend, when. Being realistic about how much you’ve got coming in and whether you’re left with money in the bank or a dented overdraft at the end of the month is essential.

Facing up to what you actually spend can be daunting, but until you know where your money is going you can’t plan to cut costs with any success. Print off your bank statements for the past couple of months and highlight any costs which could be cut in the months leading up to, and following, your move. Putting everything in a spreadsheet can help make things clearer.

Question every expenditure – do you use your gym membership? Can you get a cheaper phone tariff? How much would cutting out that daily takeaway coffee save you? Tally up the savings you could be making a month and see how much better off you could be over a year – the surprise of seeing how much you might be able to save could spur you on to make the changes.

Having a good idea of the cost of every day goods and services in Canada, as well as essential provisions like healthcare, can also help you budget for your move more effectively.

Finally, you may want to check out the official Canadian Government website, which can give you an idea of how much a move could cost you based on your circumstances. It also offers advice on protecting immigrants from fraud – something it always pays to be aware of when moving to a new country.

2. Pick your New Home with your Head, Not Your Heart

If you’re serious about saving money once living in Canada as well as in the build up to the move, picking the area you plan to settle down in should be a logical – rather than emotional – decision.

Considering where you’ll live is one of the first things you’re likely to think about when planning a move overseas, so rather than concentrating your search on the most popular areas, look a little beyond them and find those places where the cost of living is slightly lower and accommodation more reasonably priced.

Of course, you’ll also need to consider where you’ll be working and how much your commute may set you back in order to strike the right balance.

If you’re nervous about moving to Canada it may also be worth looking into the option of house sharing. Rather than going through the stress and expense of renting somewhere alone, you could find a group of fun looking people to live with – lowering the costs and making it easier for you to meet new friends from the off. The student lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but you may find it useful for your first couple of months in the nation.

Again, the Canadian Government site has simple guides and resources relating to finding places to live, as well as finding a job.

3. Research and Understand Canadian Tax Rules

Any move abroad means understanding and following that nation’s tax rules and laws. This can, of course, be one of the more complex steps in understanding how life will work in Canada, but it’s something that should ultimately be second nature as a citizen so it’s best to begin research as soon as possible.

The Canadian Government’s website comes in to play again here as it provides official resources to help explain to migrants just how Canada’s tax system works and what to expect from your first tax year in your new home.

For those who need a little more guidance and help, there’s also the option of finding a consultant or lawyer as a representative. While you must obviously be careful about who you go to for help, the Canadian Government’s site can also help you with this.

4. Use a Currency Broker

When emigrating to Canada it’s likely that you’ll need to move funds overseas at one point or another.

Many people use their bank to transfer money abroad, but one of the easiest ways to save money can actually be to use a trusted currency broker instead.

Exchange rates aren’t set in stone – they fluctuate all the time, and even a slight difference in the exchange rate you secure for your currency transfer could save you thousands. Different providers work from different margins and currency brokers tend to offer more competitive exchange rates than banks. Some brokers also work on a fee-free basis (meaning you’ll save even more) and provide more flexibility in terms of the transfer options available. Depending on the broker you may also be assigned a personal Account Manager to answer your questions, provide invaluable guidance and help you pick the best transfer option for your circumstances.

Some of the options currency brokers offer that anyone moving overseas is likely to find useful include; forward contracts (where you can fix an exchange rate up to two years ahead of a transfer) and a Regular Overseas Payments service (ROPs) for managing fast, free and reliable recurrent transactions.

These are just some of the things to consider when it comes to saving money on a move to Canada. There are of course many different personal factors that can enter the equation, but the above points are a strong starting point to get you thinking about making your money go further.


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