Canada’s financial literacy blog

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

The budgeting menu

Picture of Dilip Soman and Yuna Choe

March 2, 2022

By: Dilip Soman, University of Toronto, and Yuna Choe, University of North Texas

It has long been recognized that one important tool to help individuals achieve financial health and wellbeing is budgeting.

Stop overpaying! Switch to save on your services 

Picture: woman balancing two shopping carts

November 24, 2021

By the Competition Bureau of Canada

Take advantage of competition during Financial Literacy Month by switching service providers or renegotiating your service contracts. You could lower your monthly bills and get better products and services.

Women face unique money challenges

Picture of Rubina Ahmed-Haq, Personal Finance Expert

November 18, 2021

By Rubina Ahmed-Haq, Personal Finance Expert

In saving for the future, women face unique challenges compared to men. From greater childcare responsibility, to longer life expectancy to pay equity, women have more to consider with how much they should be saving.

Helping you save for your child’s education after high school

November 16, 2021

By the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, our lives were turned upside down. I can say it was overwhelming at times trying to juggle the needs of my own children and family with my professional career and the worry I have felt for the well-being of all Canadians.

The pandemic is inspiring Gen Z to build financial resilience

November 10, 2021

From: Canadian Bankers Association

The coronavirus pandemic has tested the limits of Canadians over the past 20 months. What began as a health crisis quickly morphed into an economic crisis, with the spread of COVID-19 shocking large segments of the economy and leaving many without paycheques.

Financial Literacy Month 2021: Make change that counts!

November 8, 2021

By Dr. Supriya Syal, Deputy Commissioner of Research, Policy and Education

Financial Literacy Month (FLM) is a time when FCAC and stakeholders across Canada share information and resources to help Canadians build financial resilience. In a world where we are bombarded with all sorts of information every day, those decisions are becoming increasingly complex and sometimes overwhelming.  

Take care of yourself – take care of your money!

Picture of a woman thinking
March 23, 2021

Happy Global Money Week! Every year, this international campaign helps young people around the world become financially aware and learn how to manage their money. This year’s theme is, 'Take care of yourself, take care of your money,’ which highlights the importance of building financial well-being, and staying healthy in the COVID-19 context.

Guest blog post: Tips for staying safe while working from home

Picture of woman at home working

March 12, 2021

From: Canadian Bankers Association

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada – a good time to remind yourself of the simple steps you can take to protect against frauds and scams. Here are some simple tips to ensure you are maintaining good security procedures at home, even if your home office consists of a laptop and your couch.

Celebrating International Women’s Day in 2021

Picture of a woman smiling

March 8, 2021

For International Women’s Day, we asked female leaders at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to share their thoughts on the significance of this day and the importance of this celebration in 2021. Here is what they had to say.

Make it count: Consultations on renewing the National Strategy for Financial Literacy

A young woman wearing a suit jacket and bow tie

November 26, 2020

By Dr. Supriya Syal, Deputy Commissioner of Research, Policy and Education

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada and, as part of this year’s activities, I want to invite all people in Canada to contribute to the renewal of our National Financial Literacy Strategy through our online consultations.

Guest blog post: Canada’s credit unions - putting Canadians’ financial well-being first

A crowd of people

November 19, 2020

From: Canadian Credit Union Association

November marks the 10th anniversary of the Financial Literacy Month, and the Canadian Credit Union Association would like to take this opportunity to recognize the ongoing contribution that Canada’s credit unions are making to providing financial education in communities across the country.

Guest blog post: As it turns ten, Financial Literacy Month is more important than ever

Honorable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

November 9, 2020

From: Honorable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance

This November marks the 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month, and as we continue to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, this year it takes on new significance.

Every aspect of our daily lives, and quality of life, has been impacted by the pandemic—from our health and our workplaces to how we spend our leisure time.

A holiday closer to home? Things to consider when planning a staycation

infographics - staycation

July 17, 2020

Summer has arrived, but this year many Canadians are finding it difficult to plan for a holiday. Health concerns are obviously top of mind, and the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought economic uncertainty and, for some, financial hardship. Still, many people want to find a way to relax with friends and family this season after a difficult few months.

COVID-19: Receiving the CERB or other benefits – How to get your cash fast and avoid paying high fees

Illustrated man holding money from his wallet

May 25, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many Canadians are relying on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or other government benefits for support.

If you are receiving government benefits during these difficult times and have not yet signed up for direct deposit, I encourage you to do so either through the CERB application or online banking. 

Beware of goods that seem too good to be true

women looking at computer, concerned about digital fraud

March 16, 2020

It’s Fraud Prevention Month, and this year’s theme is digital fraud. Earlier this month, we discussed SIM swapping and “synthetic identity fraud,” so this time we decided to take a look at some online scams that frequently target young people. We spoke to Jeff Thomson, an expert at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Digital fraud: Be aware, take charge!

person at computer committing digital fraud

March 2, 2020 

It’s Fraud Prevention Month, and this year’s theme is digital fraud. That covers a huge range of fraud activities, so we decided to speak with an expert at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. We wanted to know: what are the most common forms of digital fraud, and what are some emerging ones? We spoke with Jeff Thomson, Senior RCMP Intelligence Analyst and Acting in Charge of the Fraud Prevention and Intake Unit. 

Guest blog post: Homebuyers are focused on affordability, and making more sustainable financial decisions than in previous years

homebuyers making financial decisions

January 29, 2020

By Sam Carnovale, Director of Financial Institutions, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Every year, CMHC carries out an in-depth survey of Canadians to find out their perspectives about homeownership and the home-buying process.

This year, we had 1,385 first-time and repeat homebuyers take part.  The participants are people from all across Canada who had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 18 months. 

Let’s talk about financial stress in the workplace

woman financially stressed

January 14, 2020

Happy New Year! Our focus this month is on promoting mental health awareness, in tandem with the Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign. We have discussed in this blog how money worries are the biggest source of stress for Canadians. Financial concerns have surpassed health, work and family obligations as the number one preoccupation of Canadian adults. 

Guest blog post: Using debt wisely

Kelly Keehn

November 28, 2019

By Kelley Keehn, award-winning author, personal finance educator and consumer advocate for the Financial Planning Standards Council

DEBT. It's a four-letter word that we can't avoid in modern society.  For most Canadians, if you'd like to go to university, buy a home, a car or a laptop, borrowing the money will get you there quicker than traditional saving.  

Make a budget and stick to it with FCAC’s new interactive Budget Planner

Financial literacy month

November 26, 2019

It’s the last week of Financial Literacy Month, and our theme this week is: Borrow money wisely.

As we reach the end of Financial Literacy Month 2019, it’s important to take stock of Canadians’ financial well-being. Finances continue to be the greatest source of stress for Canadians – significantly more than work, personal health or relationships. 

Guest blog post: The bottom line - It’s time for Canada to pay attention to financial stress

Peter Tzanetakis, President, Canadian Payroll Association

November 21, 2019

By Peter Tzanetakis, President, The Canadian Payroll Association

Here’s the truth: workers across Canada are focused on the bottom line… but I’m not talking about the expenses and revenues of their employers or organizations. They’re actually worried about their personal bottom line.

Prepare yourself for the challenges of student life: be a smart financial consumer

Financial literacy month

November 18, 2019

It’s the third week of Financial Literacy Month, and our theme this week is: Be a smart financial consumer. It also happens to be Education Savings Week, which is a great opportunity to address this topic with you, whether you are a student, a parent or a caregiver preparing for or helping your child prepare for post-secondary education.

Helping your employees improve their financial well-being is a win-win!

Financial literacy month

November 12, 2019

It’s Financial Literacy Month, and all Canadians are being encouraged to take charge of their finances! 

Did you know that money worries are the biggest source of stress for Canadians?

Guest blog post: Senior residences average rent costs in Canada

July 31, 2019

By Kevin Hughes, Senior Specialist Economics, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

One day, you or a loved one may decide the best housing option is a seniors’ residence. To help you make an informed decision, CMHC released its yearly assessment of vacancy rates and average rents through the 2019 Seniors’ Housing Reports.

Financial literacy research: Canada is leading the way

June 19, 2019

Canada is a world leader in financial literacy research.

This is in large part due to Canada’s National Strategy for Financial Literacy, and our National Research Plan—clear road maps we developed with input from experts across the country.

Tips to help consumers better understand and repay their home equity line of credit

May 24, 2019

In today’s complex housing market, homeowners and homebuyers have a lot to think about. Where to buy? When to get in the market? And how to finance their purchase? They must also understand a vast array of financial products – many of which are becoming more and more complex.

Mental Health Week is here! Time to #GETLOUD

May 6, 2019

It’s Mental Health Week (May 6-12) and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is proud to be joining Canadians in communities and workplaces across the country in raising awareness about mental health. This week is a great opportunity to talk, reflect and #GETLOUD about an issue that touches us all, directly or indirectly.

Looking to take charge of your finances? A plan is the key to your success

May 1, 2019

Do you sometimes wonder where all your money went at the end of the month? Are you stressed about when and how you’ll pay down your debts? You’re not alone.

Guest blog post: Protecting yourself from mortgage fraud

March 26, 2019

By Isabel Vives, Senior Manager, Fraud Risk at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

As Fraud Prevention Month comes to a close and home buying season begins, remember that if you plan on purchasing a home there are simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of mortgage fraud. 

March is Fraud Prevention Month: Avoid being a victim by taking an active role in protecting yourself

March 1, 2019

This week marks the start of the 15th annual Fraud Prevention Month. It is a good time to make sure you are protecting yourself and those close to you against financial scams and abuse.

Bell Let’s Talk: joining the conversation on mental health

January 29, 2019

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is proud to be taking part in Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 30, 2019. We are joining the worldwide conversation to help raise awareness of mental health and mental illness. 

Guest blog post: The #1 factor considered when buying a home: price/affordability

December 6, 2018

It comes as no surprise that the number one factor Canadians consider when purchasing a home is price/affordability. Buying the home that is right for you also means buying a home that fits within your budget and leaves you feeling comfortable financially.

Guest blog post: Your employer can help you save money and improve your financial well-being

November 30, 2018

We’ve all been there. Pay day rolls around and you excitedly check your printed or electronic statement. 

After deductions, and once you’ve paid all of your regular bills, it can sometimes feel like there’s not enough left to put into savings. We all know how important savings are, but we may not be saving as much as we want to.

Take control of your finances

November 26, 2018

As we near the end of Financial Literacy Month, I encourage you to jump into the driver’s seat and take control of your finances! By taking some concrete steps, you can reduce your financial stress and improve your financial well-being.

Guest blog post: Saving for your kids’ education

November 21, 2018

As a parent, I know that saving for your kids’ education can feel overwhelming. Money was tight as a single parent, but opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for my boys was one of the best decisions I made.

Start good habits early

November 19, 2018

Welcome to the fourth week of Financial Literacy Month! 

All month, we’ve been talking about investing in your financial well-being. This week, we’re talking about what that means for children and youth, as well as their parents and caregivers. 

Guest blog post: Bridging the gap with financial literacy for Indigenous Peoples

November 16, 2018

A recent OECD report found that, as a group, Indigenous Peoples face numerous barriers when it comes to employment and successful skills training. That same report also found that outcomes are dramatically improved when people gain access to Indigenous-led programs. 

Guest blog post: Gain greater confidence over your finances

November 9, 2018

More than ever before, Canadians are concerned about their finances.  According to a recent survey from the Financial Planning Standards Council, 41% ranked money as their greatest stress – more than their personal health, work and relationships.

Have a plan to pay down debt

November 5, 2018

Many Canadians are weighed down by too much household debt. Debt can create financial stress and weaken our resilience to economic surprises. It isn’t always easy to live within your means. But sometimes, financial challenges can lead us to find a new way of managing our finances - starting with a plan to pay down debt.

Invest in your financial well-being

November 1, 2018

It’s the start of Financial Literacy Month! This year’s overarching theme is: Invest in your financial well-being. 

Greater financial literacy at all stages of life can improve your financial well-being, and also your mental and physical health. 

But what exactly do we mean when we talk about financial well-being? 

Shining the spotlight on employee financial stress during Healthy Workplace Month

October 1, 2018

It’s Healthy Workplace Month, which is a great time to talk about the biggest stressor affecting working Canadians: money.

In survey after survey, Canadians rank finances as their greatest source of stress, much higher than work, health, or family obligations. Money stress can have a negative impact on the health of working adults and, by extension, the health of the workplace they go to every day.

Heading back to school? Have a financial plan!

September 6, 2018

It’s that time again – a hint of fall is in the air, and students everywhere are preparing to go back to school. As I watch my two sons get ready to return to their post-secondary studies, I thought I’d share some information about the importance of creating a savings plan and a budget. 

Only you should decide what makes a great offer

August 20, 2018

At some point, most of us have been offered financial products and services we hadn’t planned on buying. No matter how you receive an offer, you need to be informed and savvy. 

Enjoy your summer – without financial stress!

July 11, 2018

Summer’s here, and not a moment too soon! The sun is shining (hopefully!) and leisure calls. It’s a time for reconnecting with friends and family, and maybe taking a little time off.

But summer can also be a time of financial challenges and stress. Whether it’s stretching the budget to cover a vacation, additional child-care costs when school closes for the year, or even the price tag for unexpected yard work, managing your summer finances can be a challenge!

Financial literacy and Indigenous Peoples: A new working group

June 21, 2018

To mark National Indigenous Peoples Day this year, I’d like to share with you an exciting new initiative involving financial literacy and Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.

How far we’ve come and what’s next: an interview with Dilip Soman

May 24, 2018

In this final segment of blogs about the progress of our National Research Plan on Financial Literacy, I’d like to take a moment to thank members of our first Research Sub-Committee 2016-18, who completed their two-year term in February. Your efforts have helped us to draw an important road map for financial literacy research going forward!

In this blog post, I’m going to share a conversation with a member of the sub-committee, Dilip Soman, who was recently named as the Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics. I asked him to gauge our progress to date and give a taste of where we need to go from here. 

A nudge in a new direction: behavioural economics and financial literacy

Magnifiying glass with pie chart and smart phone with photos of people

May 14, 2018

How do we change behaviour for the better? It’s a question that has preoccupied many researchers for a long time. One thing we know: it’s not easy.

The field of behavioural economics recognizes that humans don’t always act in rational ways, but are influenced by so-called “behavioural biases.” This means that the way people act depends on the situation and the context. Today we are learning more about the field of behavioural economics and how it can provide useful insights about how people will behave in a given context. Those insights can inform the design of better financial literacy programs and interventions.

A baseline for financial literacy research in Canada: the importance of confidence

May 3, 2018

Confidence matters when it comes to financial literacy. That’s the takeaway of today’s post, in which I will highlight some of the exciting findings in the Progress Report: Canada’s National Research Plan on Financial Literacy 2016-2018, which we released last week.

Guest blog post: Five tips for getting home buying done right

April 30, 2018

By Carla Staresina, Vice President, Client Relationship Management, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Few events in life are as significant as walking through the door of your new home for the first time. Are you prepared? Do you fully know what you’re getting into?  

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recently did a survey of more than 2,500 prospective home buyers – 60% of them first time buyers – to shed some light on their thoughts, behaviours and actions. From our results, we’ve gleaned 5 tips to help you make a smooth transition to homeownership.

 Making an impact: Results of the National Research Plan

April 26, 2018

Two years ago, a distinguished group of research experts was appointed to our first Research Sub-Committee at FCAC. Their task was to work in collaboration with other stakeholders on research-related matters while advising me and my National Steering Committee.

I was very proud to work with the sub-committee to advance research efforts in the financial literacy domain. Now that its mandate has come to a close, I wanted to use this space to update you about the phenomenal progress its members have made toward the goals of its National Research Plan for Financial Literacy 2016-2018.

It’s tax time! Using your income tax refund wisely

April 23, 2018

It’s tax time again! While not everyone looks forward to doing them, for many people, filing taxes can be the first step toward greater financial well-being. Today I want to talk about how we at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada are encouraging positive saving and spending habits through the income tax filing process.

Getting a mortgage? It pays to know before you owe

April 20, 2018

Are you getting into the housing market this spring? Or are you one of the 47% of homeowners whose mortgage is up for renewal by November 2018, according to the Bank of Canada?

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, considering moving, or your mortgage is coming up for renewal, there’s a lot to think about. Interest rates have increased since last summer, after remaining quite low for 7 years. And mortgages have changed—becoming more complex in recent years. 


Spring forward with our updated financial tools!

April 17, 2018

Spring is a wonderful season to clean out the cobwebs and start fresh. It’s also a good time to get on top of your finances. A little financial spring cleaning can go a long way toward improving your financial well-being. 

Be a fraud-buster this month – and every month!

March 2, 2018

To mark this year’s Fraud Prevention Month, I’d like to talk about why it’s important to report fraud when it happens to you, or if you suspect someone of trying to commit fraud. And I’ll share some tips about how to report different kinds of fraud.

Keep the January blues at bay

January 26, 2018

It’s that time of year when the excitement of the holidays is over and finances can be stressful. January can be a tough month for many families.

Let the season shine with a holiday budget!

December 13, 2017

It’s that time of year when the cold weather pushes us indoors, and we spend more time with family and friends, attending parties and other get-togethers. In stores, the lights are glittering, the music is playing, and excitement is building towards the holidays. It’s a time of year that shines. 

But the desire to make the holidays magical can sometimes cloud our vision, and lead to a dark storm of financial obligations come January.

Guest blog post: A behavioural lens on financial literacy

November 30, 2017

By Dilip Soman, Professor of Marketing and Co-Director of Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman School of Management and Jane Rooney, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader 

In an era of uncertainty and massive changes in the financial services sector ushered in by technology, it is even more important for Canadians to be able to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.

The importance of knowing your financial rights and responsibilities

November 27, 2017

This is the final week of Financial Literacy Month! Thank you for joining the conversation. This week, we’re talking about how mortgages have changed in recent years and what you need to know to protect your long-term financial interests.

Guest blog post: Teaching youth to manage money

November 23, 2017

By James Cunningham, Comedian, Host and Funny Money Creator

Understanding cash flow, controlling debt, and saving and investing for the future are the three basic principles of my lectures to young people. 

Teach children about money

November 20, 2017

This week’s theme is one I could spend a lot of time talking about because it’s so important: Teaching children about money.

A new financial adventure: Managing money in college or university

November 13, 2017

There are certain key points in everyone’s lives when financial literacy is more important than ever. This week’s theme is all about that exciting moment when young people step out on their own, into the world of post-secondary education. 

Guest blog post: Financial Literacy for Amateur Athletes

November 10, 2017

By Alexandre Bilodeau, two-time olympic gold medalist for Canada

Financial literacy is a key life skill that you need in order to succeed, and nobody knows this better than aspiring amateur athletes. There are three phases to an athlete’s career in sport, and each phase involves a different financial reality, and requires different financial skills. 

Tools to help you live within your means

November 6, 2017

Welcome to week 2 of Financial Literacy Month! This week’s sub-theme is “Live within your means.” This is a foundational habit that can help you achieve financial well-being.

Achieve financial well-being through workplace financial literacy!

November 1, 2017

Welcome to the first week of Financial Literacy Month! Our theme for this week is: Achieve financial well-being. 


Take charge of your finances during Financial Literacy Month!

October 20, 2017

Financial Literacy Month  is fast approaching! Starting November 1st, an exciting and varied roster of events and activities hosted by Canadian organizations will roll out across the country, all designed to raise awareness about and strengthen financial literacy.


The Power of Play: making financial education fun!

October 6, 2017

I recently had a chance to speak at the national conference of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs in London, Ontario. The theme of the conference was “The Power of Play.”

Canada 150 and financial literacy

June 29, 2017

As we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year, I’m thinking about the history and evolution of financial services in Canada. 

Among global peers, Canadian students are top performers in financial literacy

May 24, 2017

I have some great news to share this week: when it comes to financial literacy, Canadian youth are among the best in the world. That encouraging finding is the result of the first-ever Canadian participation in a global survey of financial literacy among 15-year-olds.

Smarter and more effective financial literacy: A new evaluation tool for FinLit programs

May 17, 2017

Research is the first step in developing a good financial literacy program, and evaluation is critical in order to refine it. Today I want to talk about a new easy-to-use online tool that will allow financial literacy practitioners to measure how well their programs are performing. 

Building savings, paying down debt and choosing the right financial products for retirement


May 10, 2017

Here, I will talk about a new FCAC research report which looks at the importance of building savings, paying down debt, and choosing the right financial products, particularly in the years leading up to and during retirement.

It pays to know—reducing financial stress

May 4, 2017

This is Mental Health Week in Canada, an excellent opportunity for us to reflect on, learn about and discuss issues related to mental health. One such issue is financial stress. According to the 2014 Sun Life Canadian Health Index, the top three reasons for stress are finances—specifically, personal or household finances, trying to maintain a budget and unexpected expenses.

A new mobile app to encourage budgeting

May 4, 2017

Recently, I wrote about the National Research Plan. In that blog post, I explained the importance of research in developing financial literacy programs, tools, and information campaigns for consumers, and I outlined the plan’s four key priorities.

The National Research Plan for Financial Literacy 2016-2018

April 26, 2017

Research is central to the work of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). It helps to identify gaps in financial literacy levels across the country and to pinpoint where FCAC and its partners should direct their resources to help strengthen Canadians’ financial knowledge, skills, and confidence.

Helping employees learn about money benefits everyone

April 4, 2017

As Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader, my goal is to help Canadians acquire the knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage their money and debt wisely, plan and save, and protect themselves from fraud and financial abuse. It’s important that individuals learn to budget, save, and plan for their future through learning about tools, techniques and products available to help them reach their financial goals.

March is Fraud Prevention Month – Protect Yourself!

March 13, 2017

Many of us are concerned about the risk of cybercrime and the growing need for consumers to be extra vigilant.

We are constantly on our phones and online, and fraudsters are always looking for new ways to lure people into sharing personal information so that they can get access to their accounts.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and a good time to educate yourself and reduce the chances of being a victim of financial scams.

Empowering women to strengthen their financial literacy

March 7, 2017

March 8th is International Women’s Day, which is a good time to empower women to improve their financial literacy and wellbeing.

Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report ranking countries on their financial literacy levels. Canada tied Norway for third place out of 29 countries, behind France and Finland. It was the first time Canada was included in the survey and I was very pleased with the results. But it also revealed gaps, including a gender gap.

Tools to help you manage money and debt wisely

February 27, 2017

Managing our money is so important, yet it’s not often at the top of people’s to-do list.

In fact, only 21% of Canadians said focusing on their financial goals was their main resolution for 2017, compared to 33% who listed fitness and nutrition, according to a recent survey by Ipsos.

At the same time, research tells us that Canadians rank money as the source of their greatest stress – more so than work, health, or family obligations. And we know that financial stress affects our mental and physical health.

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