Getting Started with Financial Empowerment

Financial empowerment is an approach to poverty reduction that focuses on improving the financial security of low-income people. It does this by introducing a set of interventions that together help low-income Canadians to grow their incomes, improve their credit scores, savings and debt levels, and build wealth through education, money management, and setting financial goals. Topics include:

  • Banking
  • Benefits
  • Budgeting
  • Buying vs. renting
  • Credit and Credit cards, savings and asset building
  • Debt
  • Education funding
  • Financial Literacy
  • Frauds and scams and safe financial products
  • Insurance
  • Interest rates
  • Investing
  • Mortgages
  • Pensions, retirement planning
  • Taxes


The following websites include not only information (e.g. articles, fact sheets) but also calculators and tools.

The Canadian Encyclopedia provides updated information about Canadians and Canada, covering all branches of knowledge or aspects of a subject in one body of work dating back to 1728 in England. 

Browse > Things = Business & Economics > Finance or Money.

The Canadian Encyclopedia-Browse Business & Economics

CPA Canada issue guidance and publish professional literature on financial topics.

The CPA Profession > Business and Accounting Resources > Financial literacy resources > Just the facts (PDF fact sheets). E.g.:

  • Home Ownership and Renting a Home
  • Saving Strategies
  • Understanding Your Paycheque

The “Financial literacy resources” page includes a “Financial wellness guide”—a questionnaire “about your current financial situation” leading to a “straightforward report that includes tools and information you can use to plan your next steps.”

Financial Literary Resources


Prosper Canada's Financial Empowerment page and Financial Relief Navigator (FRN)

The Financial Empowerment page links to information on financial literacy and coaching, taxes and access to benefits, safe financial products, savings and asset building and consumer protection.

Prosper Canada-Financial Empowerment

The Financial Relief Navigator (FRN) is a bilingual online portal that helps Canadians identify financial relief efforts created during the COVID-19 pandemic. This mobile-friendly tool includes information on the supports from federal, provincial and territorial governments. It also curates relief from banks, credit unions, and bills such as utility, internet and telecom.

Financial Relief Navigator


Get Smarter About Money

Getting Smarter About Money is an Ontario Securities Commission website of articles and calculators “to help you make better financial decisions.” Articles on various subjects are under the topics at the top of the page, e.g. Invest, Plan & manage, Life events, and Protect your Money. Select Calculators & tools for a full list of calculators and tools. E.g.:

  • Budget worksheet
  • Pay off Credit Cards and Debt Calculator
  • Spending Habits Calculator

Resources page has more information to help you make better financial decisions. They include anti-fraud/consumer protection resources, introduction to investing and clear answers to investing questions. The videos are a series of fraud alerts on scams, fake government messages and warnings about your finances. 

Get Smarter About Money

Steps to Justice

“Step-by-step information, practical tools, such as checklists, fillable forms, and self-help guides.” > Legal Topics > Debt and Consumer Rights (e.g. Collection agencies and Payday loans) or Income Assistance.

Logo-Steps to Justice


Additional information, etc. on specific topics


Canadian Bankers Association. > Selection Category > Banking Basics or Banking Industry or Financial Literacy.

“Banking in Canada,” The Canadian Encyclopedia.


“Benefits,” Government of Canada. > Benefits. E.g.: Benefits by audience, Student aid and education planning and a Benefits Finder tool.

“Benefits and financial support,” Government of Ontario. > Taxes and benefits.

Credit and debt

Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. “We license and regulate the insolvency profession”. > You owe money.

Education funding

“Student aid,” Government of Ontario. > Education and training.

“National Student Loans Service Centre,” Government of Canada.


Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Canadian Bankers Association. > Selection Category > Fraud Prevention.

“Preventing Fraud,” Competition Bureau Canada. Includes “The Little Black Book of Scams.”

Canadian Bankers Association. > Selection Category > Fraud Prevention.

“Preventing Fraud,” Competition Bureau Canada. Includes “The Little Black Book of Scams.”


Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc., “a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that represents 99% of Canada's life and health insurance companies.” > Consumer Information.


Canadian Securities Administrators. > Investor Tools.


“Homebuying step by step,” Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. > Consumers > Buying a home > Buying guides.

“Understanding mortgages,” Financial Services Commission of Ontario.


“Personal income tax,” Government of Canada. > Taxes > Income tax.

“Taxes and charges,” Government of Ontario. > Taxes and benefits.

“Property Tax,” City of Toronto. >  Services & Payments > Property Taxes & Utilities.

Newsletters and newspapers

Read the newsletters of two of the websites listed above:

Read articles on personal finance in The Globe and Mail or Toronto Star newspapers in a TPL eResource:

In Canadian Newsstream, do a “Publications” search. Select the title (not the “online” version.) Articles are listed by section. Scroll down to section B.

In Canadian Periodicals Index (CPI.Q), do a “Publication Search.” Select the date of the current issue, then filter the results by Sections > Business News.


Search terms: personal finance; money management; debt / debt management; credit card; credit management

Gale Courses (Instructor-led online courses on a variety of topics)

Kanopy (On-demand streaming courses)

  • Money Management Skills are a series of 12 episodes covering information you need to build a financial plan to achieve your goals from understanding your financial brain to putting your financial plan together.
  • Understanding Investments are a series of 24 episodes on how to invest with skill and confidence so you can achieve your financial goals from the basics to financial planning to taking charge of your investments.

LinkedIn Learning (Video tutorials led by experts in the field)


The Personal Finance Programs page on Toronto Public Library's website lists upcoming programs on personal finance to help public focus on maximizing their income through all stages of their life.

Past programs of interest available for replay on Crowdcast (TPL Programs) includes:

  • Beat The Bank: The Canadian Guide to Simply Successful Investing, Nov 30, 2020
  • TFSAs: What You Need To Know, Jan 14, 2021
  • Make Tax Your Hero, Jan 25, 2021
  • Tax Tips for Freelancers, Feb 16, 2021
  • Basics in Personal Financial Literacy, Mar 17, 2021
  • Basics in Investing and How to Find Help, Mar 18, 2021
  • Investing 10, Mar 25, 2021
  • Seven Questions To Ask Your Investment Advisor, Mar 31, 2021
  • Fighting Fraud: Avoiding Scams, Jul 20, 2021
  • Effective Tax Strategies, Oct 19, 2021
  • Estate Planning, Nov 30, 2021
  • RRSP vs TFSA: Where To Put Your Money, Feb 9, 2022
  • Planning for Retirement on a Low Income, Feb 15, 2022
  • How To Conquer Debt: 10 Ways To Improve Your Finances This Year with Enoch Omololu, Mar 1, 2022
  • Intentional vs. Impulsive Spending: How To Stop Overspending, Mar 16, 2022
  • Understanding Risk: What Investors Need To Know, Mar 22, 2022

Books and eBooks

Find books on the shelf under these Dewey numbers or books and eBooks in the TPL catalogue with these subject headings. > Advanced > All fields = Subject.

Topic(s)     Dewey Call Number(s)
Banks and banking 332.1
Banks and banking - Canada 332.10971
Budgets, Personal 332.024
Debt 332.02402
Electronic funds transfers 332.178
Estate planning - Canada 332.02401, 346.71054
Finance, Personal 332.024
Financial security 332.024
Income tax - Canada 336.24, 343.71052
Inflation (Finance) 332.41
Insurance 368
Investments 332.63, 332.6322
Money, Cryptocurrencies 332.4
Real estate investment 332.6324
Retirement income - Canada - Planning 332.02401
Retirement - Canada - Planning 332.02401


Check out also the Financial Empowerment shared list

Find eBooks and eAudiobooks in OverDrive eBooks & eAudiobooks ( Search terms = personal finance. Filter results with the subject Finance.