Achieving your financial goals in Canada: There’s an app for that!
Published November 1, 2022.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
- There are a number of apps and financial products available to help immigrants and refugees to Canada boost their savings and build their credit.
- These can especially be helpful during a time of rising inflation and cost-of-living.
- Look for products that offer low-to-no fees, competitive interest payments, cashback programs and tools to build your Canadian credit score.
- Budgeting functionality within these apps can help ensure effective management of expenses and increase your savings.
As an immigrant or refugee to Canada, trying to establish your life, and career and get ahead financially, are of paramount importance.
From growing your income to increasing your savings, every dollar counts and can make a difference toward achieving your Canadian dreams, be it home ownership or planning for your retirement.
Dr. Enoch Omololu can appreciate the value of your hard-earned dollars.
Dr. Enoch Omololu founded Savvy New Canadians in 2016 and offers his tips for apps to help newcomers better manage their finances.
Omololu immigrated to Canada in 2011 from Nigeria. In addition to being a trained and working veterinarian, Omololu holds a master’s degree in finance and investment management and is passionate about helping newcomers understand the Canadian financial landscape. In 2016, he launched Savvy New Canadians, a personal finance website for immigrants to help them make smarter decisions with their money and realize their financial goals.
Looking for more financial planning and budgeting success strategies from Dr. Omololu? Read more from our blog here.
Omololu is a big fan of products or services that can help you gain an edge in managing your money, building your credit, budgeting your dollars or increasing your savings. Windmill Microlending reached out to Dr. Omololu to get his thoughts on three financial apps to help you to better track your dollars and put you in a stronger financial position.
Dr. Omololu says: The KOHO app offers you a spending and savings interest earning account that’s excellent for earning cash back when you make purchases. A free account comes with a prepaid Mastercard. Each time you make payments with this card, you earn cash back. Accountholders also access a budgeting app that allows them to create budgets and save for financial goals. When your KOHO account is set up to receive all or a portion of your paycheque, interest is paid on your entire balance. Other useful features of KOHO include credit building and a paid Premium account for higher cash back and other perks. Read more
Dr. Omololu says: EQ Bank is an online bank owned by Equitable Bank. It offers competitive interest rates on your savings and has no monthly fees. Its regular savings account functions like a hybrid between a chequing and a savings account with unlimited free debits, e-transfers, bill payments, mobile cheque deposits and more. When saving for professional development or other medium-term goals, you can use one of EQ Bank’s Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) with terms ranging from 1-5 years and earn high-interest rates. Read more
Dr. Omololu says: Wealthsimple is a financial technology company with various products you can leverage to improve your finances. It offers automated investment accounts (robo-advisor), a savings account, a cashback prepaid card, self-directed trading platform, among other financial tools and accounts. For longer-term goals, such as retirement planning, you can use Wealthsimple’s low-cost portfolio management services. If you are comfortable buying and managing your investment account, its trade platform is one of the best, with no trading commissions. Read more
Editor’s Note: Though not included in Dr. Omololu’s list, another option to explore is the Billi app. Billi is a money-management platform, where you can view and manage all of your financial details, track your expenses and see a breakdown of your spending. It offers automatic reminders for upcoming bills and offers a credit-building feature called “Boost”. This feature allows rent payments to be tracked and reported to Equifax Canada, one of the major credit reporting bureaus in the country.
As well, Dr. Omololu adds that many Canadian banks have newcomer programs that offer easy access to financial products and no-monthly-fee chequing for 12 months or longer, such as the Scotiabank StartRight Program. You can also check the newcomer programs at HSBC, RBC Royal Bank, CIBC, TD and BMO.
Looking for advice on how to develop an effective budget and financial plan? Explore the Financial Planning section within Windmill’s Skilled Immigrant Career Success Guide.