When moving to Canada, it is important to know how money works in the North American country, its tax system, and how you can make the most of your spending power. You should know what your money can and cannot buy. To help you out, here are some facts and info about the Canadian dollar and some nifty hints and tips on spending your money in the North American country.
1. 25 cent, 10 cent, 5 cent, and penny rounding
In Canada, there are only 25, 10, and 5 cent coins. The 10 cent is the smallest in size, followed by the 5 cent and then the 25 cent. Also, take note that there is no 1 cent coin because the government got rid of it last year. However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be small cent amounts in your restaurant bill or grocery receipts.
Small cent amounts are either rounded up or down when paying cash in Canada. For instance, when you buy a cup of coffee at $1.87, you will have to round up the amount to pay for it. Rounding is just like what you’ve learned in school. Numbers that end in 1, 2, 6, and 7 are rounded down, while those that end in 3, 4, 8, and 9 are rounded up.
2. Tax is added once you pay
When shopping in Canada, the price on the shelf is not necessarily the price you’ll pay at the cash register. Tax is usually added at the end of a transaction. This basically means that when you buy a CD at $15, the amount you’ll pay will be higher than that. Also, take note that tax rates depend on what province you are in.
Groceries are an exception to this rule. Not all groceries are taxed to protect consumers and make sure they can afford all the basic necessities.
3. Groceries can be expensive
While they are exempted from taxes, groceries in Canada can be quite expensive and they can put a dent on your budget if you’re not careful. For instance, in Europe, you can buy milk for under €1. But in Canada, two litres of milk cost about $4.
4. Liquor is even more expensive
If you don’t want to be broke, you should avoid binge-drinking alcoholic drinks. Liquor can be ridiculously expensive in Canada. A bottle of gin costs at least $20 and your $15 here can get you only six bottles of beer.
5. The Canadian dollar and US dollar are not the same in value
Always remember that the US and Canadian dollars are no 1=1. While their sign might be the same, their value might be not.