Moving to a new country can be an exciting and exhilarating experience and can also offer many new opportunities. But, if you’re new to Canada, you might find that managing finances is more difficult than you expected, especially when trying to juggle many things at once like finding a job to saving for a new home or child’s education. Everyone has different financial priorities, so it’s important to prioritize your own and set up a financial plan to help you achieve them.
In a recent TD survey, 38 per cent of new South Asian Canadians equally listed saving for a new home and saving for retirement as their top priorities. Another 30 per cent said saving to buy or lease a car and saving money for a child’s education (30 per cent) are also top goals.
“We know how overwhelming and stressful it can feel when dealing with everything associated with moving to a new country, especially trying to get your finances in order and adjusting to a new banking system,” says Sue MacDonald, Associate Vice President of Retail Products at TD. “If you are a newcomer, take the opportunity to speak with a financial advisor to get your questions answered about banking in Canada, like what’s the best way to help you save for a new home and your child’s education.”
The survey also found that 62 per cent of South Asian Canadians find managing finances in Canada completely different than in their home country. Furthermore, 43 per cent do not think they have enough knowledge to get the most out of the financial service choices available to them in Canada.
As a new Canadian, it is important to understand the difference between banks in one’s native country compared to banks in Canada. To help newcomers gain the financial knowledge they need, MacDonald offers these tips:
• Plan your long- and short-term goals: Speak with a financial advisor to discuss your long- and short-term goals. An advisor can help you develop a plan to address competing priorities like saving for a home, retirement or a child’s education and provide tips on how to help maximize savings for the future.
• It’s important to revisit and revise your financial plan as your situation evolves: Especially in the early months as income, lifestyle and financial goals could change.
• Choose the right bank based on your needs: Take a look at various banks to understand how they align to your needs, for example, providing service in your native language, longer opening hours on evenings and weekends, or a great digital banking experience. Once you are comfortable with the bank that meets your needs, speak with someone at the bank about choosing the right account based on your anticipated transaction pattern, such as money transfers, and potential average monthly balance.
• Manage your day-to-day expenses: If you are worried about juggling everyday living expenses, starting a budget to track your spending could help put you more at ease.
• Practice good financial habits: Your credit history from another country is not recognized in Canada. Building up good Canadian credit history is often required before you can buy or rent a home or car, so it’s important to practice good financial habits right from the beginning, like paying your bills on time and in full. Learn more about the importance of building and maintaining a good credit history here. -CINEWS