Learn about managing your money in Canada
Banking, saving, taxes, insurance, loans, investing and even how you pay for things can be very different in Canada than in other countries.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), an independent federal government organization, offers information, resources and educational programs to help you learn how to be a more confident financial consumer in Canada. From the basics like how to open a bank account, make a budget or use credit and debit cards wisely, to applying for a loan or determining what kind of insurance you may require, FCAC’s material is presented in clear, easy-to-understand language. The Agency’s material, available free of charge in English and French, can be found online. Many publications and tip sheets can be ordered in printed format.
A great way to get started is by using one of three free educational programs that are tailored to consumers’ needs at various life stages.
A teacher-led workshop that introduces and explains basic financial concepts, Financial Basics helps young adults develop money management skills. Targeted to those between 18 and 29, it is typically taught in colleges, universities and community organizations. However, anyone can download or order its engaging and useful materials. The participant handbook can help you understand the basic concepts and provides useful links for additional information.
Online and interactive, The City is a learning program that teaches a youth audience financial skills that they can carry with them throughout their lives. Schools across Canada use it in class, generally for students between 15 and 18, but anyone can sign up to use it online. Topics include determining needs versus wants; income, expenses and budgets; credit and debt; and much more.
Your Financial Toolkit
The Agency’s newest training resource, Your Financial Toolkit, which will be launched later this year, has been designed for adults to help them learn to manage their personal finances. The program covers: budgeting, banking, taxes, insurance, mortgages, investing, protecting yourself against fraud and more. The Toolkit can be used by individuals who work through the modules themselves, either online or in a print version. Users can complete the whole program or simply select the topics they want to learn about. A trainer’s toolkit will be included in each module with activities that can be done in a workshop setting for teachers and facilitators who work in community organizations, educational institutions, or for employers who wish to provide training to their employees.
Worksheets, quizzes, tools and calculators will help you apply what you’ve learned to your own life. The online videos and case studies will also help reinforce your new financial skills.
Your Financial Toolkit will be available in both print format and online on FCAC’s website in the fall of 2012.
In addition to these educational programs, FCAC offers basic information on banking, saving, credit cards and other aspects of personal finances. The Agency’s material also outlines your rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial institutions, how to protect yourself against fraud and how different forms of payment work.
With educational materials and interactive tools, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides objective information about financial products and services to help Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated financial institutions, payment card network operators and external complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry commitments intended to protect consumers.
You can reach us through the FCAC Consumer Services Centre by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by visiting our website: itpaystoknow.gc.ca. You can also follow @FCACan on Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn.
Canadian Newcomer Issue 44