Canada’s financial literacy blog
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 1, 2017
Welcome to the first week of Financial Literacy Month! Our theme for this week is: Achieve financial well-being.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
February 22, 2017
I am excited to announce the 15 new members of our National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy. The new members are:
- Camille Beaudoin, Autorité des marchés financiers
- Harold Calla, First Nations Financial Management Board
- Jeff Cates, Intuit Canada
- Terry Campbell, Canadian Bankers Association
- Martha Durdin, Canadian Credit Union Association
- Terry Goodtrack, AFOA Canada (formerly Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada)
- Greg Pollock, Advocis
- Darren Hill, Junior Achievement of Saskatchewan
- Michel Leduc, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
- Elizabeth Mulholland, Prosper Canada
- Andrew Nicholson, Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick
- Kelly Stone, Canadian Association of Family Resources Programs
- Frank Swedlove, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association
- Joy Thomas, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
- Patricia White, Credit Counselling Canada
December 15, 2016
The holidays are around the corner, and that means many of us will start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions soon. Lots of Canadians will make plans to eat healthier, exercise more, or spend more time with family.
It’s important to have healthy habits, and our financial well-being is a big part of that.
Setting financial goals is a great way to get yourself on track. The New Year is a perfect time to get started. In January, after the holiday rush is over, you can take the time to consider your financial priorities and, most importantly, do something practical to start 2017 on a good financial footing.
December 5, 2016
Last month, my team and I crossed the country from east to west marking Financial Literacy Month (FLM). I saw tremendous enthusiasm in communities across Canada!
I was also reminded how important financial literacy is, not just during FLM, but all year long.
During November, I met young people in Toronto and Kingston who want to get on a good financial path themselves but also help their peers through their own conferences and websites, which is tremendous. I talked to seniors and people heading towards retirement. I spoke with financial professionals, teachers, accountants, politicians and non-profit organizations about how we can all help give Canadians the knowledge, skills and confidence to make sound financial decisions.
November 28, 2016
Financial literacy is about lifelong learning. Gain the knowledge, skills and confidence you need at every stage of life in order to make responsible financial decisions.
Make a habit of reviewing your personal finances and looking at your budget and savings plan on a regular basis. Life is always changing and it’s good to be prepared for whatever happens.
November 21, 2016
Canadians aren’t saving enough.
That’s unfortunate because having money put aside for a “rainy day” fund, a child’s education or retirement can make the difference between feeling stressed and being in control of your financial situation.
And saving can help you avoid unwanted debt when you have unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or leaking roof.
We know money is the biggest cause of stress.
November 14, 2016
We’re lucky in Canada to have protections in place for consumers of financial products and services. Financial institutions have an obligation to provide you with key information about mortgages, loans, lines of credit, and credit cards in clear language.
And as consumers, you have certain responsibilities. Make sure to inform yourself of rates, terms, and penalties associated with financial products and services. That means reading all of your financial agreements and disclosures thoroughly and asking questions if you are unclear.
November 7, 2016
Financial literacy is all about getting back to basics. One way to do that is to “live within your means”. In other words, earn more than you spend so you have money to set aside as emergency savings and longer term saving goals, such as retirement savings.
As I mentioned in last week’s post the first step is having a budget. Then you can start to manage your money and your debt. Getting your debt under control means less stress!
Canadians are burdened with historically high levels of household debt, according to Statistics Canada. Simply put, too many people are spending more than they earn. They are saving less and not saving for retirement. At the same time, people are living longer.
November 1, 2016
As Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader, people often ask me what they can do to improve their financial situation. I encourage everyone to make a budget.
A budget is a tool with huge benefits. It helps you understand where your money is coming from and where it’s going. It helps you make financial decisions. It allows you to change your spending habits. It’s a tool that can help you be prepared when unexpected, and unwelcome, financial situations occur.
October 25, 2016
I am very excited to launch our new blog today, just a few days before the start of Financial Literacy Month (November)!
As Financial Literacy Leader, I speak to a lot of Canadians across the country and I know many of you want to improve your financial situation.
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