Today, I’m excited to present you a guest post by Guillermo, a new Canadian originally from Argentina, who lives in Ottawa with his familya. Guillermo writes in Spanish and in English about his experience as an immigrant to Canada. Enjoy!
A few days ago I remembered all the things I had to buy during my first weeks in Canada. That “initial setup” at the beginning can sometimes be expensive… or not. no everyone arrives to Canada with the same amount of money, some people decide to leave some stuff behind and others just decide to move as much stuff as possible. The fact is that we all need to address a series of major expenditures that we must prioritize not to fall into bankruptcy too soon.
So, here are 30 things you may need to buy upon your arrival
- This is not shopping … but it has to be paid: The rental deposit of your first “home” in Canada … It may be up to three months in advance. That can hurt!
- And the rent too!
- Some bed(s) or, possibly, mattresses
- Sheets, blankets, pillows, bedding …!
- A table and chairs
- A TV… or radio.
- Cutlery, plates and glasses (which can be disposable at first)
- Phone service (mobile or land)… that will have to be paid every month!
- Internet Service… in this country you cannot be disconnected! Along with the phone, are a “must have”!
- Of course… you need a computer.
- And perhaps a printer, if someone asks for a resume by fax or regular mail
- Opening a bank account also has its cost.
- The monthly or weekly public transport pass
- You may chose to buy a car
- And if you did you’ll have to pay insurance …
- …And other related expenses!
- A Translation Service you may need for some paperwork
- Having to do errands every day means being away from home… and at some point you have to eat or drink something, right?
- Long distance calling card.
- If you have children you may want to send them to a “day care” or “service de garde”
- Some new Ikea furniture or used ones from the Salvation Army to locate some of the many things you brought.
- Children always want a toy… are you going to say no?
- Ooops! Season change! You need new warm clothes!
- Ooops! Season change! Let’s go for winter tires!
- Ooops! Season change! Heating goes up!
- Think about all you may need to face the Canadian winter and you don’t have!
- Small every day things like washing and drying clothes in the coin operated laundry room of the building or routine purchases at the supermarket.
- The low cost French language course for immigrants because the government french classes will not be available for the next 6 months
And the list goes on and on…
You may wonder how can you estimate all this before arriving? Well, let me tell you it’s not simple. But the resources are online: search for supermarkets websites, read newspapers and classifieds online, look for utilities prices… everything can be done on-line and you may have an idea of what may be needed .
Many of these things can also be bought at low cost in the used market (Salvation Army, Comptoirs, garage sales , Kijii, etc.), but still, as I said above, when you arrive in a tight budget, everything may be a major expense and should be prioritized.
And you… how did you “invest” your money on your arrival? And if you are still in your country… what are you plans?
Guillermo, or Mr. G if you want, is a father of three and moved with his family from Argentina to Canada in 2005. He’s the editor of The Zieglers blog, where he shares their experiences as immigrants with a particular point of view. You can visit them at http://thezieglersblog.com