Day-to-day living expenses in Canada may be very different from what you were used to in your home country. Costs for food, clothing and home furnishings may surprise you. Even more surprising may be the variation in costs between different regions of the country and between different retail stores.
Stores compete with one another for your business, so it's always worthwhile to compare prices before you buy. Note: the price of a product does not include provincial sales taxes (PST), goods and services tax (GST) or harmonized sales tax (HST) (applicable to select provinces only), which will add anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent to the cost of an item, depending on the province in which you buy it.
Here are some more tips to help you save money when you shop:
- Check your local paper for flyers and coupons.
- Need to make a large purchase? Check craigslist.com or kijiji to see if you can find a gently used or second-hand item.
- Many of your favourite brands provide special offers and rewards via email so be sure to sign up for their newsletters.
- Check out Flyerland for online access to flyers and coupons from stores in your area.
These tips may help you save a few dollars as you shop and take care of your day-to-day needs. However, a more formalized budget can help you manage your money carefully so that you have enough to meet everyday needs and can save for future goals.