A friend of mine from Ontario recently moved in with us to try her luck here. And in 13 days, she got a job offer in a company that is related to oil and gas. She has been looking for a job in Ontario for 2 months and only a couple called her back. Here, she had interviews almost everyday... She loves her new job but then she asks me if this is the place where I wanted to be or do I have plans to move elsewhere.
Another fellow blogger got in touch with me 'coz she and her family are moving here too. She hasn't mentioned this in her blog, so I won't reveal her identity for now.
Well, there are pros and cons to our living in Alberta.
- We have to live on a single income while in Ontario, and it wasn't easy since hubby's pay is just enough for our monthly expenses. I tried to look for a job, any kind of job, but I just couldn't get one. There's too much competitiveness. And besides, daycare center just costs way too much.
Here in Alberta, I easily got hired, no question on qualifications were asked and the company were quite flexible on my working hours. It was just too good to be true! And yet, it worked for me.
- Dream come true! Hubby was able to fulfill my dreams in Alberta. We each have our own car, unlike in Ontario where we were just leasing one car. And of course, being a homeowner completes it all!
- I started doing taxes in Ontario, for my first 2 tax season. I only get limited hours since the company doesn't want to pay overtime. And I couldn't get enough hours to qualify for EI [Unemployment insurance], and as I mentioned, I couldn't get any other job after tax season.
Here in Alberta, since I have proven my capabilities during the first year that I worked with another tax company, I basically can work as many hours per week as I wanted. They really gave me a lot of flexibility. I get paid more because I also get commissions on top of the basic salary. These commissions paid for our trip to Manila in 2007, paid for my first Nikon D40 DLSR in 2008, and in 2009 I decided to upgrade to Nikon D90 and a trip to LA and Vegas. This year, it's another trip back to Manila.
- On a single income, we can't even afford to eat at McDonald's or Burger King. I remember one Christmas time, I was taking the kids to see Santa at the mall so that they could have their picture taken and get some gift. On the bus, the lady in front of my son started to talk to him and ask him what he wanted for Christmas. He answered "hmmm, anything as long as it's from the dollar store." Honestly, I was do embarrassed but what can I do? I always take them to the dollar store to buy toys to keep them happy.
- I missed the green colors in the summer in Ontario... and the combination of yellow, orange and red colors in autumn. You can see a lot of places in 1-2 hours drive, either going North, South, East or West of the city. There's always places to see and discover.
In Alberta, you'll see brown all over most of the time... fall colors are just yellow. I don't believe I've seen any red or orange here. We are surrounded by mountains and you need to do long driving to see beautiful places!
- School. I love the school of my kids here in Alberta than in Ontario.
- Alberta got cheap insurance compared to Ontario... we pay less here and it's for 2 cars!
- Even though we don't have PST [Provincial sales tax] here in Alberta, the prices of grocery items are higher than in Ontario. My grocery bills per month has doubled since we moved to Alberta.
- Even though the cost of living in Alberta is higher than in Ontario, we are able to save more here. Dual income helps a lot! Salary based is higher here to compensate for the higher cost of living. But overall, one can save more here.
- Employers. It is easier and cheaper for them to hire new ones than give salary increases to its employees. Everybody is dispensable. Hubby worked for 1 company in Ontario for 3 years, not a single cent of increase during those 3 years and yet his workload keeps on increasing.
In Alberta, most companies have union to make sure that even though the economy is
down, the employees will get salary increases once a year.
- I missed all my friends in Ontario. But I have made new friends here too.
Pros and cons. You be the judge as to what is more important to you.