New to Canada? Tips to cope with higher than expected financial costs

Starting a new life in a new country can be a complicated and expensive. Up-front costs can quickly drain your finances if you have to find a place to live, get a cell phone, arrange daily transportation and pay other day-to-day expenses.

Recent RBC Research shows that the majority of newcomers expect to put a down payment or security deposit on accommodations and cars. But, newcomers see sticker shock when it comes to cell phones and internet access. Almost one-third (29 per cent) paid a deposit on these items and many were surprised at having to do so (33 per cent) and how much it cost (35 per cent). 

“Leaving your home country requires a lot of organization. Without planning, you can risk running out of money because of unexpected costs,” said Paul Sy, director, Multicultural Markets, RBC.

Sy offers the following advice to newcomers once they arrive in Canada:

  • -Open a Canadian bank account: Look for special newcomer offers on: banking fees, foreign exchange rates, safe deposit boxes, credit cards with no security deposit or credit history, cell phone offers etc…
  • -Set a budget: Figure out how much your monthly living costs will be. i.e.)  cost for accommodation, transportation, schooling and living expenses such as food, clothing, utilities and entertainment.  Use online tools to help manage your daily expenses.
  • -Pick a bank that matches your needs: Choose a financial institution that can give you unique products, services and easier access to credit that will make your transition to Canada much smoother.

To learn more about how RBC helps newcomers get financially prepared for life in Canada, please visit:

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