Starting a new life in a new country is a big step. With the excitement of new beginnings comes the challenge of adapting to a new way of doing things. From learning new routines, starting new schools and understanding life in a new country, this transition can be confusing and overwhelming.
Some of the biggest changes that take place involve financial decisions, according to a recent poll from RBC among Chinese and South Asian newcomers who have been in Canada for 5 years or less. The poll revealed a number of financial routines they’ve done differently in Canada versus their home country, including:
33% – Budget more carefully
29% – Create a financial plan to achieve long term goals
26% – Build their credit history faster
26% – Watch their spending more closely
22% – Use credit cards responsibly
21% – File taxes on time every year
“Uprooting your family and moving to a new country involves a lot of planning and understanding. To help with your peace of mind, the best advice we can give is to have a plan in place,” says Christine Shisler, Director of Multicultural Markets, RBC. “We have been working with newcomers for over 7 generations and we know having both a life plan and financial plan in place, along with the right support and advice are the keys to success for newcomers establishing their new life in Canada.
Here are some of Christine’s ‘financial smart tips’ for newcomers in their first year:
Put together a financial plan
Whether it’s buying your first car in Canada, working towards your first home, or putting your children through school, creating a financial plan as soon as possible will help you stay on track to achieve your goals. Sit down with a financial professional, who will take a look at your immediate expenses and future goals. Together, come up with a plan that ensures settling into Canada becomes easier, and you reach your financial goals faster.
Choose the right financial partner
When settling on your bank, make sure it is one that understands the special needs of new immigrants. The right financial partner should have experience working with newcomers, and products and services designed for their immediate and subsequent needs. Year after year, RBC has been reaching out to newcomers with resources and tools that make settling into Canada easier. It makes them understand how crucial it is for newcomers to have access to customized banking solutions when they start out, and as they journey forward in their new home country.
Track your spending and follow a budget
For many newcomers to Canada, the first priority is to managing immediate day-to-day cash flow. Until you have an established financial routine, a budget will help you manage cash flow and track your spending. Take advantage of online banking tools to help manage your monthly spending so you know exactly where your money is going.
Start building your credit history from day one
Building a Canadian Credit History is essential for newcomers. One of the best ways to do this is to have a Canadian credit card and use it wisely. RBC can help newcomers get their first credit card with no credit history required. We also provide solutions to enable Newcomers to get that first car or home without a Canadian Credit history
Learn about your tax obligations and entitlements
Filing a tax return is a priority for most Canadians, regardless of income level. Depending on your Tax Return you may be entitled for credits likes GST and child-tax benefits. As, well there are certain savings and investments products that offer tax benefits.
Make sure your money is working for you
Growing your money is important to building a strong future. There are many options available that lets you save money and generate returns. Establishing routine and habits means you can start saving, too.
To learn more about how RBC helps newcomers get financially prepared for life in Canada, please visit: rbc.com/welcomecanadacredit