Make Change that Counts: National Financial Literacy Strategy 2021-2026

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s (FCAC’s) mandate is to protect Canadian financial consumers and strengthen financial literacy. 

The National Strategy is a 5-year plan to create a more accessible, inclusive, and effective financial ecosystem that supports diverse Canadians in meaningful ways. The National Strategy is focused on how financial literacy stakeholders can reduce barriers, catalyze action, and work together, to collectively help Canadians build financial resilience.



Investing and The COVID-19 Pandemic: Survey of Canadian Investors

The Investor Office conducted this study to further our understanding of the experiences and behaviours of retail investors during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The study explored several topics including the financial preparedness, savings behaviour, financial situations, changing preference, and trading activity of retail investors. Key findings include that 32 per cent of investors have experienced a decline in their financial situation during the pandemic while 16 per cent have experienced an improvement. Half of investors have not done any trading during the pandemic, but of those who have been trading, 63 per cent have increased their holdings.



Tax Time: An opportunity to Start Small and Save Up

This paper provides a description of how having liquid savings contributes to people’s financial stability and resiliency, and the unique opportunity that tax time offers to begin saving for the short and longer term. Starting to save or continuing to save when receiving a tax refund may lead to longer term financial well-being. 

This paper also provides a few examples of how Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs creatively used Bureau tools, resources and technical assistance to encourage savings as well as some of the results they reported. It provides insights from a subgroup of the programs in the cohort that collected additional information from consumers on their intent to save, the various types of accounts into which they saved, and the goals they were striving for by saving. Finally, this paper offers recommendations on some strategies that can be employed to increase people’s interest and commitment to saving during the tax preparation process. 



Behavioural insights: key concepts, applications and regulatory considerations

There are numerous factors that influence the decisions that people make. Behavioural insights (BI) recognizes this and, through a combination of psychology, economic and more recently other behavioural research, examines how people are often neither deliberate nor rational in their decisions in the way that traditional models, strategies and policies assume.

Behavioural insights recognize how people actually behave versus traditional economic and market theory of people as rational actors. This report discusses how leading practitioners and regulators around the world are using behavioural insights to address issues in capital markets and improve outcomes for investors and market participants.



How to really build financial capability

Recent years have seen an explosion in interventions designed to improve financial outcomes of participants. Yet on-the-ground evidence suggests that not all financial education programs are equally successful at achieving this aim.

This paper examines the difference between interventions that work, and those than do not. It attempts to answer the question: “How do you actually build financial capability?” In doing so, we aim to help interested parties enhance the effectiveness of their programs and policies by providing them with evidence-based recommendations to drive positive outcomes in participants.



Human Insights Tools & Resources

Human insights are used when designing programs and improving services through understanding clients’ hidden preferences, environment factors and behaviors. The Human Insights Tools from Prosperity Now are intended to take you through the process of discovering opportunities for innovation from clients’ point of view, designing solutions to meet those needs, and testing your ideas to ensure they bring about the needed change.

Tools and resources are presented for each of the discover, design, and test phases.



Financial Health Index: 2019 Findings and 3-Year Trends Report

This report explores consumer financial health, wellness/ stress and resilience for Canadians across a range of financial health indicators, demographics and all provinces excluding Quebec. This report provides topline results from the 2019 Financial Health Index study and three-year trends from 2017 to 2019.



Consumer Perspectives on Fintech

This brief raises consumer perspectives on financial technology (fintech), and offers guidance for fintech developers on how to best serve low- to moderate-income clients.



Money Circle toolkit

Financial decisions are influenced by our own personal feelings and attitudes around money, and by the feelings, attitudes, and actions by our family and friends. This CFPB toolkit offers financial education practitioners three tools (Money Choices, Money Styles, and Money Network), each with a brief, interactive exercise, to initiate conversations about the feelings and personal relationships that shape financial choices.



Managing spending: Ideas for financial educators

As financial educators know, making day-to-day decisions on spending money is one of the biggest challenges consumers face in keeping their financial lives in order. Many people find it difficult to manage their household finances on a daily basis, let alone over the long term.

This brief from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection identifies a few ideas to explore causes of over-spending and ideas to help prevent it. 



Consumer Insights on Managing Spending

The CFPB conducted research on consumer challenges in tracking spending and keeping to a budget. The research found that consumers aspire to manage their spending but for many reasons, many consumers spend more than intended and sometimes have\ difficulty in staying within their budgets. In addition, we found that although most people would like to use budgets and plans, they often don’t use them to guide spending decisions in the moment.

Budgeting and tracking spending are often considered to be overwhelming or too much of a hassle, and even those consumers who have a budget generally do not benchmark their spending to their budget frequently or regularly.



Canadian Millenial Social Values Study

A major national survey conducted in 2016 reveals a bold portrait of Canada’s Millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995), that for the first time presents the social values of this generation, and the distinct segments that help make sense of the different and often contradictory stereotypes that so frequently are applied to today’s young adults.

Key findings from the survey explore Millennials' relationship with money, education, work and career interests, voting turnout, and engagement with social justice.



Building consumer financial health: The role of financial institutions and FinTech

In this video presentation Rob Levy from the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) examines the role of financial institutions in building consumer financial health. 

This presentation was given at the Prosper Canada Policy Research Symposium on March 9, 2018.

Read the slide deck that accompanies this presentation.

Pour lire les diapositives de la présentation, cliquez ici.

View the full video playlist of all presentations from this symposium.



The Impact of Credit Counseling on Consumer Outcomes: Evidence from a National Demonstration Program


This study addresses these gaps in the literature through an evaluation of a nationwide credit counselling program called Sharpen Your Financial Focus, an initiative launched by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) in September of 2013.  The Sharpen initiative builds upon and enhances the standard counseling model implemented by NFCC affiliate agencies. As of March 2015, more than 40,000 consumers have received credit counseling services under the Sharpen initiative. This analysis uses data on 6,094 consumers enrolling during the first quarter of the initiative through 13 different affiliate agencies. In partnership with Experian, a matched comparison group is generated through Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM).





This study addresses these gaps in the literature through an evaluation of a nationwide credit counselling program called Sharpen Your Financial Focus, an initiative launched by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) in September of 2013.  The Sharpen initiative builds upon and enhances the standard counseling model implemented by NFCC affiliate agencies. As of March 2015, more than 40,000 consumers have received credit counseling services under the Sharpen initiative. This analysis uses data on 6,094 consumers enrolling during the first quarter of the initiative through 13 different affiliate agencies. In partnership with Experian, a matched comparison group is generated through Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM).




Handout 9-12: Consumerism resources


This is the resources handout for Module 9: Consumerism, from the Prosper Canada Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




2017 Financially Underserved Market Size Study


CFSI presents their 2017 Financially Underserved Market Size Study that illustrates the growing opportunity to address the needs of financially underserved consumers and identifies significant trends driving marketplace evolution and growth.



Handout 9-13: Consumerism glossary


This handout is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Glossary of terms relating to consumerism.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Handout 9-8: Dealing with consumer problems


This handout is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Examples of how to deal with consumer problems.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Handout 9-7: Common frauds and scams


This handout is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Common consumer frauds and scams to look out for.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Handout 9-5: Cell phone information


This handout is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Information about cell phone plans and what is involved when you purchase one.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Handout 9-3: Smart shopping tips


This handout is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Smart shopping tips.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Handout 9-2: Advertising techniques and sales tactics


This handout is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Explanation of different advertising and sales techniques.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Activity sheet 9-11: Consumerism goal setting


This activity sheet is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Setting goals related to consumerism.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Activity sheet 9-10: Rate your financial knowledge, part 2


This activity sheet is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Use this quiz to rate your financial knowledge.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Activity sheet 9-9: Complaint letter


This activity sheet is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. A template for writing a consumer complaint letter.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Activity sheet 9-6: Cell phone checklist


This activity sheet is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. A checklist of questions to answer when you are getting a cell phone.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Activity sheet 9-4: Find the better deal


This activity sheet is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. Figure out which item is the better deal by calculating the unit cost.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Activity sheet 9-1: Consumer quiz


This activity sheet is from Module 9 of the Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources. What kind of consumer are you? Take the quiz.

To view full Financial Literacy Facilitator Resources, click here.




Insights to impact: Behavioural science


In this webinar, "Insights to impact: What behavioural science tells us about building financial well-being," you'll learn about how behavioural science can be used to help build financial well-being and influence the design of financial empowerment programs. 

The speakers are

  • Katy Davis, Managing Director, ideas42
  • Emily Zimmerman, Vice President, ideas 42

This is the video recording of the webinar.

Read the presentation slides from this webinar.

Read the report Insights to Impact, discussed in this webinar.




Do States Benefit From Restricting Safety-Net Eligibility Based on Wealth?


This brief examines the findings of three studies—one from The Pew Charitable Trusts and two commissioned by Pew with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation—that looked at the effect of asset limits on family finances and state and program costs and obligations.



Consumer Experiences with Debt Collection – Findings from the CFPB’s Survey of Consumer Views on Debt

Navigating the Market – A comparison of spending on financial education and financial marketing

Small-Dollar Credit – Protecting Consumers and Fostering Innovation

Organizing and managing finances

Helpful shortcuts for credit card use: Ideas for financial educators


To test out the impact of rules of thumb in helping consumers decrease their credit card debt, the CFPB
commissioned a rigorous study of two financial rules of thumb on consumers with revolving credit card debt. We created two new guidelines aimed at aiding consumers to decrease their revolving credit card debt: Don’t swipe the small stuff – Use cash when it’s under $20; Credit keeps charging – It adds approximately 20% to the total.


The Liquid Hand-to-Mouth: Evidence from Personal Finance Management Software

Minimum Payments and Debt Paydown in Consumer Credit Cards

Consumer Voices on Financial Rules to Live By

Do What You Love: Financial Planning for Artists & Designers

Predatory Lending: A Survey of High Interest Alternative Financial Service Users

Values-Centered Financial Education. Understanding Cultural Influences on Learners’ Financial Behaviors

Against Financial Literacy Education

Financial well-being: What it means and how to help

Renewing and Renegotiating Your Mortgage

Understanding Credit Card Fees (Financial Literacy Series)

Be Smart with Your Credit Card: Tips to Help You Use Your Credit Card Wisely

Buying Your First Home: Three Steps to Successful Mortgage Shopping

What You Should Know if Your Branch Closes

Tools for saving: Using prepaid accounts to set aside funds

An Evaluation of the Impacts and Implementation Approaches of Financial Coaching Programs

How Young People View Credit: Predictable Debt Overload?

Towards a Comprehensive and Inclusive Consumer Protection Framework for Canada. Submission to Finance Canada

Financial Planning Profiles of American Households: The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey and Index

Americans’ Financial Security: Perception and Reality

The Precarious State of Family Balance Sheets

Big Data, Small Credit: The Digital Revolution and Its Impact o Emerging Market Consumers

Building Financial Counseling into Social Service Delivery: Research and Implementation Findings for Social Service Programs

Municipal Financial Empowerment: A Supervitamin for Public Programs. Strategy #3: Integrating Safe and Affordable Bank Accounts.

Financially fragile households: Evidence and implications

Weathering Volatility: Big Data on the Financial Ups and Downs of U.S. Individuals

Financial Capability in the United States 2013

Levels of Financial Capability in the UK: results of a baseline survey

The Use of Cash in Canada

The 2013 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey

Strengthening Financial Literacy Through Collaboration: Highlights of the 2014 National Conference on Financial Literacy

2013 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice: Summary Results


The 2013 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) is the sixth in a series of annual studies
conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to gain a comprehensive understanding of the cash and noncash payment behaviour of U.S. consumers. This report summarizes data collected in the 2013 SCPC and contains 57 tables with detailed estimates of the number of consumer payments, rate of adoption, and share of consumers using nine common payment instruments—cash, checks, money orders, traveler’s checks, debit cards, credit cards, prepaid cards, online banking bill payments (OBBP), and bank account number payments (BANP)— plus payments made directly from consumers’ income source. The report also contains estimates of consumer activity related to banking, cash management, and other payment
practices; consumer assessments of payment characteristics; and a rich set of consumer and
household demographic characteristics.


The 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study

Report on the Economic Well-being of US Households in 2013

Fin Lit Fin Ed and Behaviours

Monthly household income volatility in the U.S., 1991/92 vs. 2002/03

Fair Financing: Expanding Small-Dollar Short-Term Credit for Albertans

Competing on Financial Health: How Credit Unions Can Win the Gen Y Market

One Size Does Not Fit All: A Comparison of Monthly Financial Services Spending

Secured Credit Cards: Innovating at the Intersection of Savings and Credit

The Tenuous Segment: 29 Million Coping, with Little Buffer for Financial Hurdles

Designing for Financial Health: Stories and profiles from the Financial Capability Innovation Funds

Driving Towards Impact: The Emergence of Financial Capability

The Financially Striving: How 16% of Americans Are Working Toward Better Financial Lives

The Financially Unengaged: Reaching the 16% of Americans Who Aren’t In Touch With Their Financial Standing

Know Your Borrower: The Four Need Cases of Small-Dollar Credit Consumers

Data Point: Credit Invisibles

Rigorous evaluation of financial capability strategies – Why, when and how

Financial Literacy Annual Report

Measuring financial well-being – A guide to using the CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale

Consumer Expenditures in 2013

Better Money Habits Millennial Report

Australian Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker

Financial literacy facilitator resources


The resources in this toolkit are taken from the Prosper Canada Financial Literacy Facilitator curriculum. The full training curriculum is available for practitioners who complete our Financial Literacy Facilitator training. Prosper Canada curriculum and tools are for non-profit use only, and are not to be delivered or distributed for a fee.

These activity sheets and handouts can assist you in your work relating to a number of financial literacy topics. They were developed with adult education principles in mind and offer a range of activities that may be adapted to the needs and interests of the people you support.

Latest update on August 18, 2021:
Financial literacy videos
Tax Deductions, Credits, and Benefits
The Cost of Credit
Debt Solutions

November 23, 2020:
Resource handouts updated

November 3, 2020:
Top five virtual icebreakers
Tips for managing breakout rooms

October 29, 2020:
In honour of the tenth anniversary of Financial Literacy month this November in Canada, we’ve collected the Top ten financial literacy tips we think all Canadians should know, regardless of income level. If there’s something on this list you haven’t tried out yet, think about how you could make that your next financial goal for the coming year.