That Painfull Question - HOW MUCH ??


Danie.v.H

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Hi Anjonet,

To be honest the costs of everything will be roughly the same. The costs you won't absorb as a single person will be the bigger food budget (and to be honest that's probably only a few $ any way- it's as cheap to cook for 4 as it is for 1 just less ingredients for 1)

Your costs on rental will be similar (apartment I assume and not a bigger house) but this does depend on where you go. On average I would budget about $1200 to $1500 for rental (you might even get utilities gas etc included in this amount if you find a good rental).

Transport, well that again depends on if you want a car or not and what you would buy. As stated before, and many people do it (even Old Van can tell you about it better than most) you can finance/lease a car cheaply in payments, but you might not get good rates being new to Canada. So here you might buy a good pre-owned car (really cheap here as people almost give away used cars and they are in very good condition if you just look around)

It costs the same to heat a house/apartment in winter even if one person lives in it as opposed to 4. Central heating is what is used here mostly, so it's automatic (yes you can save a bit on lowering the thermostat). Energy costs, well you used the same pot to cook rice for 1 or 4 people so that not going to change much. You turn on the same TV, lights etc that a family would (ok maybe you won't hang have 3 or 4 TVs ;-).

In SA the sundry costs are medical etc that you don't pay here so that can't be equated.

Single people however have the luxury of going out, parties, bars, entertainment etc that families might not do, so the costs are offset there as opposed to family expenses.

In short I would say a single person could live on about $1800 to $2000 a month.

Of course I am assuming quite a bit, merely by deduction. I would love to hear what the many single people here (or previously Lone Ranger people that arrived here) feel is wrong with these assumptions.

Edited by Sideline
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If you are single you could rent a small basement apartment for around $700 which would include all utlities. Food is cheap - if you are ok with frozen microwave dinners you could survive on $5 per day. So $1,000 per month you are fed, have accommodation and some money for transit. Obviously not a great lifestyle but doable for a few months.

Edited by Jules
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Thanks guys, that helps me get a frame of reference for once I land in Canada, but what about the whole proces of getting the "paperwork" together before you can get on a plane?

I admit I still have a lot of reading to do, but since you guys have gone through the process and all the little costs you can easily forget to take into consideration, I would be really happy if you can give me some insight into that as well.

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If you are single you could rent a small basement apartment for around $700 which would include all utlities. Food is cheap - if you are ok with frozen microwave dinners you could survive on $5 per day. So $1,000 per month you are fed, have accommodation and some money for transit. Obviously not a great lifestyle but doable for a few months.

Oh yes, I forget about the basement apartments. Bachelor living :-)

The thing that really gets you is the initial ZAR to CAD converting. A bunch of bananas costs maybe $3, so what it's $3 that's fair (err ummm in ZAR it's R30 for friggen bananas that's crazy- thinking as a newly landed immigrant) a steak will be about $8 - $10 again its not bad (R100 for a single steak and it's not even that big juicy 1kg I get back in SA thinks a newly landed -bl1ksem)

Oh and one thing that still bugs me a little, they advertise almost everything in $/LB (per pound) but they charge you in $/kg. so you have to roughly double an d a bit to get the real price of things like produce, meats, nuts etc. so when it's 50c/LB you are actually paying $1,10/kg! That is a rather huge difference to get used to.

And then depending on where in Canada you pay tax, up to 13% extra, on top of all this. Think back to SA in the 80's (GST - pre VAT these days). So that's something you also need to remember. It's not $10 for that steak, it's actually up to $11,30. (As a matter of interest Alberta has the lowest tax rate at a flat 5% A and some would say that that's all fine and well, but the prices are higher in Alberta. Oh well you can't win on everything :-) )

Earning $ things are cheap. Spending ZAR to start you cry silent tears every time you pull out the wallet.

Just to amuse yourselves goto this site http://save.ca/flyers , you can choose your city etc that you want to live in -just google a postal close for it and use that for local flyers (tip you need to click the show more to get all the flyers) and start shopping in your usual fashion for groceries. Using the Walmart one is probably the best "middle of the road" to compare costs. Buy what you would consider normal stuff. Now as new immigrant with only ZAR imagine that for living expenses.

There are even flyers for household goods that you might need, beds, furniture etc

This gives you the truth in what your first few weeks will be like living on ZAR.

Now obviously you can get away with a lot of sales, shopping around and getting good stuff off places like kijiji, but this gives you the reality check you need to get yourself accustomed to what to expect when you first get here.

Edited by Sideline
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Thanks guys, that helps me get a frame of reference for once I land in Canada, but what about the whole proces of getting the "paperwork" together before you can get on a plane?

I admit I still have a lot of reading to do, but since you guys have gone through the process and all the little costs you can easily forget to take into consideration, I would be really happy if you can give me some insight into that as well.

The costs for paperwork etc should be roughly 50% of a family application. So I would say budget around R25 to R30k (might be a bit much but rather over budget than be caught short)

The cost of settlement is personal. Some people land with very little and they survive. Don't let the big numbers scare you off - as long as you are willing to rough it.

I agree with Jules here. We are just adding a little reality to the process, but you can make do with a lot less.

In the words of a famous sports brand

JUST DO IT !

For all those that might be interested, here is our account of leaving and the setup phases we went through. It might help ease those ugly monsters suddenly hiding in your wallet.

http://www.sacanada.org/topic/18098-its-almost-at-the-end-and-starting-over-time/

Edited by Sideline
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I think one thing to mention as well as that the cost of living really depends on HOW you are willing to live in the beginning. Are you willing to get some free furniture off Freecycle or buy second hand on Kijiji? Are you willing to live like a poor student? How long are you willing to live like that?

When we came over we knew that for a good while we would not be able to afford some things we had in South Africa. We were okay with it. Obviously some costs are fixed but living expenses CAN be cut if need to (and you don't have to eat unhealthily to do so).

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Sideline Gulp is not the word. I suddenly saw my whole dream go bang. But you revived it at the end a bit.

Would it be easier to go as main applicant first and then try settle with the rest following two or three months later.

Werner / Grant ... When you apply don't you have to submit all the relevant skills assessments and qualifications.

Grant - not at all. It is only the main applicant's degree which you need to convert to Canadian equivalent. You don't have to do it for your spouse as this does not give you any points for your application. (however, I will do it closer to the time of going to Canada to show prospective employers that the spouses' skills are recognised in canada)

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Ever since I moved out of my parents house 7/8 years ago, I have lived on my own. From town-house to free-standing in the suburbs. I know the cost of cooking for 1 vs eating out for 1, but the days of junk food are long past and I like to eat healthy and hit the gym. Chances are when I land in Canada I will either be at the office or at the gym, but I like home cooked food and I'm used to roaming around 250m2 of house by myself (when the criminals aren't inviting themselves over), staring out the lounge at the sparkling pool.... I doubt I could do the basement lifestyle!

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Each to his own. We moved from 21 acres and a huge, modern home in South Africa into an older home with a postage stamp backyard in Canada. After a year we moved out into the country again into a home that was better, was on more land. After 2 years we bought a gorgeous home that suits our needs perfectly on 5 acres :) For us taking a step back was not fun at all, but it was worth it in the end. For someone else taking that step back wouldn't be worth it. Neither is right or wrong, it is simply a case of what are your priorities at that particular time.

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Each to his own. We moved from 21 acres and a huge, modern home in South Africa into an older home with a postage stamp backyard in Canada. After a year we moved out into the country again into a home that was better, was on more land. After 2 years we bought a gorgeous home that suits our needs perfectly on 5 acres :) For us taking a step back was not fun at all, but it was worth it in the end. For someone else taking that step back wouldn't be worth it. Neither is right or wrong, it is simply a case of what are your priorities at that particular time.

Good attitude. It's not where you start - it's where you end. We also swapped a big new home in SA for a small old rental in Canada. 10 years later we have a much better home than the one we gave up in Durbanville SA.
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It all depends where you want to live you can buy a huge house on an acre of land for $600k in a smaller town or a one bedroom 120sqm flat in downtown Vancouver and pay $800k. Size and price are 100% relative to area and demand. We looked at the options but chose closer to downtown so that the kids can get out without us having to drive them everywhere. For that convenience we gave up a garden. You can also buy 1 hectar sea front or lakefront plots with a nice house and a dock for $600k if you want to drive for 2 hours into the rural areas. At an interest rate of 2% the world is your oyster

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One last comment we Saffers tend to have the status thing when it comes to house size and land here in Canada status is displayed by the size, height and location of your penthouse (for urban living) and the size of the lake frontage that you own (for the rural aspects) everything else is just the great unwashed masses.

In Canada the best property (in terms of status and price) is downtown in any of the big cities, whereas in SA its as far away from downtown as you can get. Get a taste of this.

http://globalnews.ca/news/864305/vancouver-property-worth-55-million-dollars-makes-the-biggest-residential-real-estate-deal-in-canadian-history/

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Petros, you are right! On the same note a lot of people couldn't care less where others live. We bought a bigger house with land because we have 8 kids :D We looked at a waterfront property that was GORGEOUS and we seriously considered it, except I totally don't want to live where I have to watch my little guys around the water all day long.

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If there are any immigrants out there who landed in a position the same or better than what they left, please raise your hands... is it even possible?

We've immigrated twice and BOTH times had to take a major step backwards... but hey it all works out in the end...

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Agree Petros, unless you come on a job offer and most costs are sponsored. Be prepared to dig deep into savings etc to pay for your immigration.

You do/will eventually recover..

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If there are any immigrants out there who landed in a position the same or better than what they left, please raise your hands... is it even possible?

We've immigrated twice and BOTH times had to take a major step backwards... but hey it all works out in the end...

I got a better job.

Worked in SA for old mutual as a training manager. Came over on PR and landed a job at one of the big banks as a senior manager (took a few weeks to get the job). Since then (past 10 hrs) I got a few promotions.

Anything is possible.

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Nelline, Trev got a similar position. But he got it before we moved. He applied, they flew him over for a job interview, they paid all our moving costs, and all our work permit and PR fees. They also paid for our accommodation in South Africa for 2.5 weeks after our home was sold and we were waiting to leave. Paid for rental furniture here whilst waiting for our containers to arrive.

We were extremely blessed!

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Can anyone point me to a resource on Canadian tax laws? Potential employer asked me what my salary expectations are so I did some digging on base salaries for my profession but I need details are what is tax deductable. Also maybe if someone could shed some light on how packages are shaped in Ontario, Canada. Thanks

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Hello Queque & All :)

Sorry I cannot help with the tax laws...

But if I may ask - what do you have on your cover letter when applying for jobs?

How do you state that you are still in SA, and looking for sponsorship/PR...with out being too desperate, or making them run for the hills :P ?

We have been applying for jobs and we have got a "few" bites, they asked salary expectations etc etc but as soon as they ask what is our status and when we say we are in the process of applying for PR - then nada, nothing no responses...

Its obvious that the specific position needed filling urgently, else I assume they would have waited...(well at least i hope :huh: )

I know if there really want us, they will pursue..... (another assumption)

So what do I say on the cover letter?

Do I say, I am currently in SA and intend moving over to CA - please sponsor me a WP, or be patient enough until I receive my PR :D:clown: ...(well not in these exact words...but I am sure you know what I mean :whistling: )

Any advise is appreciated :blush:

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Sideline don't apologize. In situations like these we (Those still in the process) are thankful for the honesty of those who have walked (Crawled) before us. With every ones info I can at least have a realist target to work towards. I did find it strange that they only required so little as proof in the bank funds especially since renting took majority of that lump sum. My initial aim was to take at least $40 K with but now I will put my aim at $60K. Unfortunately the 1mil bar aint going to come in my lifetime...... mmmm unless I whack the mother-in-war... oops did I say that out loud.

All Jokes aside. Thank you all for adding your experiences.

Danie

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You have the right attitude Danie! Rather come with a few rand more if you can spare it. You can never over prepare for this immigration journey and having a little more cash will go a long way!

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Can anyone point me to a resource on Canadian tax laws? Potential employer asked me what my salary expectations are so I did some digging on base salaries for my profession but I need details are what is tax deductable. Also maybe if someone could shed some light on how packages are shaped in Ontario, Canada. Thanks

OKAY, Canadians DO NOT uunderstand the concept of cost to company. The salary you are quoted is the cash salary. Many companies "put money on the table". These are added benefits over and above your salary. So benefits can be medical, RRSP matching, ESOP (employee share onership plan), pension, life insurance etc. What is "put on the table" is specific to companies and is then added to your salary. Some of these (RRSP, pension etc) can be used as tax deductions, and others may attract fringe benefit tax.

companies here also do not understand the concept of them providing you wih a "pro former" wage slip before hiring you. the only thing you can do is try look at workopolis and or contact a recruitment agency to find out what the riught salary range is for your profession.

Also, many big companies use broadbands to pay salaries.

My company puts an extra 10% on the table through matched funds for RRSP contributions as well as medical benefits.

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