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Strategies for Managing the Increasing Cost of Living in Canada

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As Canada embraces a growing number of newcomers, concerns about inflation and higher living expenses arise for those establishing themselves in this new land. Thankfully, a blend of federal, provincial aid and individual resources empowers Canadian newcomers to tackle the mounting cost of living effectively. Explore the array of government support and valuable tools to manage expenses and foster savings adeptly.

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The Present Circumstance

The 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI), a survey by the Canadian government, recorded the largest price surge since 1982, reflecting a notable increase in the cost of goods and services.

In addition, a recent Statistics Canada report also highlighted that almost 25% of Canadians struggled to cover a sudden $500 CAD expense, while 44% expressed heightened worries over escalating food and gasoline prices.

Government Assistance at the Federal Level

In response to the inflationary pressures and following the 2022 Fall Economic Statement, Canada’s government has implemented various policies to aid residents in managing their expenses. These measures are part of the Affordability Plan, which reflects a substantial CAD 12.1 billion federal investment.

Among these initiatives is doubling the Goods and Services (GST) Tax Credit for six months starting November 4, 2022. This change directly impacts around 11 million Canadians with low or modest incomes. Singles without children could receive an additional payment of up to CAD 234. Couple with two children might get as much as CAD 467 or more. Lastly, seniors (65 and over) can receive an extra CAD 225 on average.

Furthermore, the Canada Workers Benefit (CWB) aims to bolster the income of low-wage workers who play vital roles in the economy. With $4 billion in funding proposed over six years in 2022.

Economic and Finance Support

Fall Economic Statement, eligible individuals will receive automatic biannual advance payments starting July 2023. The CWB has the potential to offer up to CAD 1,428 for single workers or up to CAD 2,461 for families. 

To ease the financial strain of higher education, the federal government has made the federal portion of Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans permanently interest-free, including loans currently in repayment.

In September 2022, Canada introduced the Canada Dental Benefit to ensure affordable dental care. This initiative offers tax-free payments to eligible parents or guardians to cover dental expenses for children under 12. Those with a family income under CAD 90,000 per year and lacking dental coverage can receive up to CAD 650 annually for the next two years.

The government’s Affordability Plan led to the implementation of supplementary steps preceding the 2022 Fall Economic Statement. These encompass a reduction of around 50 percent in childcare fees in Ontario, a 10 percent elevation in the Old Age Security (OAS) pension for seniors aged 75 and above, and the linking of diverse benefits to inflation.

Support Provided by Provincial Governments

Provincial administrations also address the increasing cost of living, offering distinct programs tailored to their residents. These initiatives cover many needs, including medical expenses, skill development, job placement, childcare, employee benefits, etc. What’s more, the extent of these offerings varies significantly depending on the specific province of residence.

Significantly, ensuring accessible housing and providing housing assistance predominantly falls under the purview of provincial governments. Here, you can find a compilation of service and program pages for each provincial government, complete with comprehensive information:

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A Compilation of Aids and Assets

In addition to government assistance, individuals have access to a variety of resources to help manage essential expenses effectively.

Strategic Shopping: These tools provide insights into purchased products, including price fluctuations, better deals, and discount codes. Save.ca and Flipp are well-known resources in Canada that scour the internet for discount opportunities. Browser plugins like Honey also offer an easy way to track price changes for online shopping.

Essential Needs Management: Newcomers can utilize various tools, resources, and programs to save on essentials. While tools like Flipp and Save.ca are relevant, loyalty programs like PC Optimum and Air Miles offer cash-back and savings options with grocery store partners. Price matching offers, available at many stores, can also ensure the best prices on items, though these policies vary and require confirmation.

In addition, Savings:

Additional resources can aid in saving money and even provide cash back on purchases. Koho, along with apps like Ampli and PC Optimum’s cash-back feature, is a popular choice in Canada. It’s important to note that cash-back programs typically apply only to partnered retailers, so verifying eligibility with each service is crucial.

Effective Financial Planning: Several free applications are available to assist newcomers in budgeting and planning expenses. Tools like your bank’s budgeting app and third-party apps like Mint, Koho, and YNAB offer a convenient and cost-free way to manage your finances.

Diverse Accommodations and More: Websites like Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and Classifieds Canada are invaluable for purchasing second-hand items, conducting swaps, or finding housing options without incurring real estate agent fees.

Equally important is efficient Travel and Commuting: Several resources assist Canadians in travel and commuting. Skyscanner and Tripadvisor search for favorable rates on airfare and accommodations. For domestic travel, apps like Transit compare commuting options, while GasBuddy compares fuel and public transit costs to offer the best deals.

Education: Numerous online resources help newcomers acquire skills and continue their education at little to no cost, although recognized certifications may involve fees. Platforms like YouTube, SkillShare, Khan Academy, Coursera, Udemy, Codecademy, Linkedin Learning, and etc. provide a wealth of free information alongside paid courses.

Lastly, free Activities: Exploring low-cost leisure activities is made more accessible by apps like Canoo, which reviews local options. Eventbrite is an excellent platform for discovering free or affordable events nearby, and additional web searches can yield more options.

If you want to be a part of Canadian life, too, you’ve come to the right place. Green Light Canada can help you in obtaining your residency in Canada. Fill out our Free Assessment Form and evaluate your chances of immigration now!

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