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08 March 2015

A Minimum Wage Earner in Toronto Canada: Salary Vs. Expenses

After the job interview and knowing that I will start working on the next Monday, I was excited to tell my sister and everybody about the job.

It was a great feeling, knowing that I don't have to worry about my finances anymore, well at least for the time being.

While on my way home from the interview, walking along the pathway with more red maple leaves blocking my way, I appreciated more of the beauty of the surroundings.   What I saw was that...
* The grass is greener and the red maple leaves were not just red but has different sizes.   
* The pine trees along the way are not made of plastic at all.
* There were no trash along the road.
* Lastly, I was the only human walking along the pathway... 
The thought of my dilemmas that I've gone through with my FSW application to get in to this country, marks a smile of fulfillment on my face.
* I remembered how CIC returned my 2007 application on 2012.
Seeing the flag, with a red maple leaf, in front of the buildings made me realize that I'm now in Canada and soon to be part of their workforce.

On Monday, I will be included in the Minimum Wage Earner job market.

What My Friends Thought About My Job?
Besides announcing my new job with my wife and relatives, I also informed some of my close friends.  They like the idea of me having a job as a new immigrant, but they kept on advising me not to work at that level for a long time.

They advised me to look for a job that is more relevant to my experience and credentials.  As they were explaining their thoughts on me, their facial expression show signs of discontent and regret.

To give you an idea of my background,  I'm a licensed Engineer with more than 10 years of experience in my field, and worked in Singapore as a technical support for the Southeast Asian customers.

I fully understand what they thought of my new career, an Assembler, but the most important is my own decision.

When I arrive here, I never stopped planning. Although I haven't planned to be an assembler,  I know that this will soon to be part of my future success, which I was prepared for.

My Thoughts of Being in the Minimum Wage Earner Workforce
The first thing that I considered when I accepted this job was our cash flow.  The fact that I'm a new landed immigrant, with a limited money to burn, it's logical for me or "anyone" to get any type of job.

I have to cling on to something before I fall down completely.  Failing to have a job in Canada or any other place is not acceptable especially when your wife and kids are with you.

Being in this kind of job has a minimal stress and responsibilities.  The decision making is simple.  All I have to do is to pick some parts, inspect for damages and assemble it.   If there's something wrong with the parts, just call the supervisor for help.

Budgeting My Salary 
Having an $11.00/hr salary is minimal, it is insufficient to supply us with our weekly needs if I work alone.

Let me breakdown my salary and our expenses to give you an idea...

Salary: ($11.00 / Hr) x (8 hours/day) x (5days/week) = $440 / week
CPP (Canada Pension Plan) = $18/week
Employment Insurance = $8/week
Tax (Federal Tax) = $43/week

Laundry ($60/month) = $15/week
House Rental ($880/month) = $220/week
Food ($60/week) = $60/week
Mobile Plan ($76/month) = $19/week
Internet ($95/month) = $23.75/week
Transportation = $56/week (using a GTA pass)
School Tuition = FREE
Hospitalization = FREE

If we do the Math...
Salary - Expenses = C$440 - C$462 (We are short of $22 per week)              

The good thing about Canada is that our kids have their own allowances from the government.  If parents are in the minimum wage, they can get around $300-400 per month more or less, depends upon the assessment.

This will compensate our negative income.  But, for me, I don't want to wait for the government's subsidy.  My wife and I agreed that she needs to have a job so that her income ($440/week without tax) will be our savings and so we can send some in Philippines.

So, if we add our net income together..
Ben = (- $ 22)  /week (negative income)
Net =    $ 371 /week ($440 less CPP, EI, Tax)
Kids =  $ 75 / week            $ 424 /week (Total Savings)           
Having this net income per week is enough for our family savings.

Of course, there will be expenses for our new house like furnitures, gadgets, new TV, etc... These can be included in the budget but is not considered as the essential expenses.  It means that we can still live without these items.

As long as we don't buy luxury things, we will be fine for now.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Sir Ben, I really admire your perseverance, outlook and attitude in life. Sinusubaybayan ko tlga itong blog niyo, at napaka helpful at informative tlga. I based my PoF format d2 sa blog niyo, now im waiting for MR.

With the way how you tackle life, hindi na ko magugulat if you'll be successful there someday with your own house, car and a great career.

Can't wait for your next update, keep it up!

gobbledegook said...

Hi good to hear you found a job. I just got medical requests from CIC. Could you share the names of some good employment agencies with me before I move over to Toronto? Will appreciate some good tips from you as well! Pls do share ok?

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi Gobble, Sure! I'll gather the names of the agencies and share it here. Hope it can help you with your finances in Canada.

JLB said...

Hi Sir Ben, is your monthly rental expense ($880) inclusive of utilities already - heat, water, light?

Ben Alagnam said...

It is now $900 inclusive of utilities.

Sifat Reza said...

Hi Ben, I am considering moving to Canada through Express Entry. I have a question. if both your wife and you are working, who is looking after your kids? have you got child care facilities? Is it free of cost? thanks, Sifat

Ben Alagnam said...

There are lots of Child Care Facilities here. My friend sent her kid to Child Care and paid $800++ a month.

Canadian Government will provide benefits for your kid. Read all about it here.

Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada