How to gain financial stability in a new country

November 1, 2023


KEY TAKEAWAYS

✔ The high cost of everyday necessities like food and housing can make it financially challenging for newcomers.   

✔ Building a strong financial foundation starts with a few simple steps from saving money to managing expenses.  

✔ Create some simple money habits like living simply, buying only what you need and cutting back on expenses.


Many things are happening that can make it financially challenging for newcomers to Canada. Increased inflation and high interest rates are making it hard to keep up with expenses and pay for everyday necessities. 

Moving to a new country can be overwhelming, and with additional money stress it can feel like it will take a long time to become financially stable. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to gain confidence and build a strong foundation for your financial future in Canada. 

Here’s how to start:

#1 Automate your savings

Whether you’re building an emergency fund or saving up for a trip back home, the easiest way to grow your savings is to automate the process as much as possible. To get started, choose an amount and set up regular transfers from your chequing account to a savings account. Automatic money transfers, even small ones, can help you reach your goals faster. And this way, saving for the future can be a priority, not a stressful afterthought. Check out some more ways to save for something or someday.  

Not sure how much to put away each month? 
A monthly budget should offer a helpful starting point in terms of your monthly expenses and how much money you can afford to put aside for savings.

Trim monthly costs 

Closely review your bills and spending habits. Are there any expenses you can trim or get rid of? If you can reduce your monthly spending by $100, then you’ve managed to find an extra $1,200 a year that could be used to pay down debt or grow your emergency fund. Here are a few places to look for savings. 

Subscriptions and memberships. Cancel any cable channels or streaming subscriptions that you no longer use. Check out some budget-friendly and free alternatives to cable. 

Groceries. Smart shopping and cutting down on food waste are two of the fastest ways to lower your grocery bill. Here’s a list of ideas to help you cut costs.

Auto, home and renter’s insurance. It pays to shop around. See if you can find the same or better coverage at a lower cost. 

Home repair and service. How-to videos make it easy to get expert advice and instruction so you can do your own repairs instead of paying someone else. Check out all these services that you can do yourself to save some money. 

#3 Invest in yourself

One way to earn more money is to increase your value at work by upgrading your skills. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. Online courses, workshops, or a certification in your industry can be completed quickly and are reasonably priced. The government of Canada also provides information and resources on job training and building your skills in Canada. 

#4 Practice living simply 

The idea of living simply starts with becoming more aware of how you spend your money. Here are some tips that can help you reduce your spending and create room in your budget for saving:  

  • Try a ‘less is more’ attitude about shopping. This means buying what you need versus something you “want”. 
  • If you find you need something, take a little extra time to price-match items when you’re shopping in-store and online so you don’t overspend. 
  • Consider buying used items and clothing. Canada has many online, second-hand selling apps where you can buy things at a much lower cost than buying them in a store. 

#5 Embrace low-cost hobbies 

Having an enjoyable hobby is good for your health and your wallet. If you’re on a budget, consider focusing on low-cost hobbies that help you ‘create’ rather than ‘consume’. For example, taking up photography, planting a vegetable garden or learning to bake at home involves time and effort, but you don’t have to spend money beyond a few initial purchases.

Having some financial stability when you start to build your life in a new country is about having a plan in place for your money, taking small steps, and staying committed to short- and long-term financial goals. 


Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice on any subject matter.

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