This article originally appeared on the Canadian Immigrant site on July 22, 2020.
After participating in webinars and speaking with countless new immigrants, I have noticed a common recurring question: “How do I manage my finances in Canada?” The underlying emotions I have noticed are anxiety, security and safety — common feelings for any newcomer — something I can certainly relate to.
I remind them they are going through a huge amount of change, especially amidst a global pandemic. But no matter what’s going on in the world around us, one thing we should never lose sight of is our short and long-term financial goals. And while the world is certainly a different place right now, consider these tips to keep you on track to save up for your financial goals — whatever they are.
1. Start a Rainy Day Fund
As you may have noticed, all of our social calendars are quite empty right now. When you typically would have had regular dinner plans or even a summer getaway in your calendar, those plans have likely been cancelled. Set aside some of the money you would have put towards these summer activities and put it in a “rainy day” fund. You never know when that money will come in handy.
2. Stay the Course
If you had plans to make a bigger investment for things like a home or a wedding but have had to hit the pause button — don’t lose sight of those plans – just adjust your timing. Take the delay as an opportunity to re-evaluate what you want and pivot as needed. The extra time may allow for a chance to save a bit more or cut back if you decide to adjust your plans.
3. Have a Plan
It may sound like a cliché but having a concrete savings plan written down may actually help you stick to it. Map out what you want to save for in the short and long term and set incremental goals on how you will get there. Buying a home may seem like an out-of-reach goal right now, but having a plan in place to achieve that over the next little will give you direction and something to work towards.
4. Check your Finances
While spending may be up in some areas like groceries and online orders, you may be spending way less in other categories like entertainment and travel. Take some time to check your finances on a regular basis to see how you are doing. Setting up a virtual call with a financial advisor is a great way of assessing and taking care of your financial health.
For more advice and information visit rbc.com/newcomers.
Amit Brahme is Senior Director, Newcomer Client Strategy with Royal Bank of Canada.
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.