Banking and money
Banks, trust companies and credit unions offer various services – saving money, writing cheques, getting a debit card, borrowing money for purchases or a home (mortgage), getting a credit card. They charge service fees.
Banking information: Newcomers to Canada
This website of the Canadian Bankers Association provides excellent general information as well as information prepared specifically for immigrants:
- arranging a move to Canada
- opening an account, before and after arrival
- banking basics
- buying a home
- starting a business
- saving money
- getting settled in Canada
See also: Manitoba’s Credit Unions
More information about money
Direct deposit: Most employers give you your paycheque by depositing it electronically, directly into your bank account. Government benefits, such as Employment Insurance, are also commonly paid by direct deposit.
Payday loans: Payday loan companies loan people money in advance of their payday. The interest rates are much higher than banks. Manitoba has laws governing payday loan companies. For information visit Manitoba’s Consumer Protection Office.
Fraud and identity theft: Identity theft happens when someone steals your identification to make purchases using your name or credit card or other accounts. Never give out personal to anyone over the telephone, and be careful what personal information you give on the Internet. For information visit Manitoba’s Consumer Protection Office.
Insurance: Insurance provides financial protection against the damage or loss of home, business or personal possessions, car and other possessions. Many employers offer insurance such as dental, health, life and disability as part of their benefits. For more information see the independent consumer website Insurance-Canada.ca.
Before purchasing any item (food, furniture, clothes), compare the prices at different stores. It’s also important to note that stores lower their prices from tmie to time during “sales” that are advertised in flyers and on TV. Otherwise, stores have fixed prices (although it is acceptable to negotiate prices for expensive items such as cars, large appliances and homes).
There are stores that often one kind of item, such as a clothing store or food store, and department stores such as Wal-Mart and The Bay, which offer all kind of goods.
Food: Large grocery stores or supermarkets offer the widest selection of food items. Small, neigbhourhood convenience stores tend to have less selection and be more expensive. Many people use coupons when they shop. You can find them in newspapers and or in your mail delivery. Winnipeg has many grocery stores serving particular ethnic communities.
Used goods: Many people buy second-hand (used) items such as applicances, furniture and clothing. Visit websites such as winnipeg.kijiji.ca. Or visit the “garage sales” people hold at their homes during summer weekends; see Winnipeg Free Press Classifieds.
Canada’s three levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) collect taxes to pay for public services such as health care, education, roads and cultural activities.
Income tax: Every adult living in Canada must send an annual income tax return to the federal government by April 30 each year. Help is available. Some community organizations offer free help with filing income tax. Income tax is deducted from your paycheque so you don’t face a big tax bill at the end of the year.
Property and business tax: Your local municipality levies residential and business taxes for local services (and the school system). Visit www.winnipegassessment.com or your local city or town government.
Retail taxes: When you pay for a product or most services you must pay an additional amount for sales tax. There is the provincial sales tax and the federal goods and services tax on most items. You do not have to pay the GST when you purchase children’s clothing.
Financial assistance and benefits
In Canada it is possible to get temporary financial help from the government if you have lost your job and are looking for work or if you need financial help for other reasons. There are also government benefit programs for children, seniors and other for other situations.
Manitoba financial benefits, social services: Use ServiceLink to find social services and to see if you’re eligible for financial assistance from the Manitoba government.
Canadian government benefits: Use Service Canada’s Benefits Finder. This online tool calculates what programs you may be eligible for in your personal situation.
Canadian Consumer Handbook
This website has excellent and trusted information and resources that will help you make better decisions to make the most of your money.
Manitoba Consumer Protection Office
This Manitoba government department is responsible for consumer protection. It has many resources to help you with your finances.