Hi and Welcome to my blog! When we took the bold step of moving to Canada from India, I decided to record our experiences here to help others who are planning to make the big move too. You may find something helpful, informative or just plain amusing. Comments are appreciated, but if you want a reply please email me at: email@example.com
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Friday, November 7, 2014
Living expenses in Canada is one of this blogs most read posts
So many readers wanting to know how much does it cost exactly to live in Canada?? I had written a post about this back in March, 2011. The link to that post: http://chennai2canada.blogspot.ca/2011/03/blog-post.html To add to that:
Your everyday costs:
Up to half your take-home pay in Canada can be taken up by household expenses. These expenses include the cost of your home, heating and other utilities, food, clothing, health insurance and transportation.
Most Canadians spend 35 to 50 percent of their income on housing and utilities. This includes the cost of renting your home or paying your mortgage (a mortgage is a long-term loan.) It also includes the often-high cost of heating your home and paying for electricity, telephone service and water.
Many newcomers choose to rent an apartment on a monthly basis. Rental costs vary across cities and across Canada; they usually cost less outside large cities.
You will likely pay at least $350 a month to rent a room and at least $2,000 a month to rent a larger apartment or a large house.
If you want to buy a house, you will probably need to get a mortgage. Banks and other lending institutions give mortgage loans. They decide whether you have enough income, enough assets (things you own) and a good credit rating. Most banks will ask you to pay at least 10 percent of the cost of the house from your own money.
In addition to your mortgage payments, you will have to pay for property tax and household insurance. If you plan to purchase a condominium (condo), you will have to pay other fees.
The average Toronto homeowner will pay $3,612 in property taxes this year — all in, including education taxes. Schools are free for students but is funded by the property taxes in that area.
Last year the average Mississauga homeowner paid $4,059. Taxes on a similar home were $4,548 in Ajax and $5,468 in Richmond Hill; $8,054 in King. Don't let these numbers scare you. $4000 tax is
Food will be a basic expense and costs will depend on the size of your family. This cost can double if you often eat in restaurants or choose to buy specialty items.
Clothing expenses may be less than 10 percent of your take-home pay, but you may spend a lot more if you buy your clothing at designer stores. Second-hand shops sell used clothing and furniture at very low cost. For Winter, especially the first year, you will have to invest in good jackets, boots, gloves etc for each member of your family.
Some people include alcohol and cigarettes as part of their budget. Alcohol and cigarettes are expensive in Canada because they are heavily taxed.
Many Canadian families have one or more cars. Canadians either buy their cars new or used or they lease them, which is a form of rental. You will have to add insurance costs if you own a car.
Make sure you think of all the costs before you decide to buy or lease a car. For example, when you own a car you will have to pay to keep it working well, for gas, monthly loan payments, registration and insurance. When you lease a car you will sign a contract to have the car for a set period of time. You will pay the same costs as you do when you own a car.
Many Canadians also choose to use public transportation, walk or bike.
It is the law that all cars must be insured and registered with your provincial or territorial government. Car insurance can be expensive, but it protects you and other drivers in case of an accident. In most provinces, you can find more information by contacting the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Living in Canada, you will find that every now and then you have to make payments for occasional expenses. Some examples: buying prescription medicine (not covered by health insurance), school supplies and long-distance calls to friends and family in your home country. Finally, it all depends on your lifestyle and how you live. Most people think a family of four needs at least a monthly income of $5000 - $7000 to be comfortable.
If you already live in Canada, please email me what you think and how much your family spends on an average every month.