Financial Literacy Materials

Financial literacy is defined as having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.  Every item on this annotated bibliography is available either online or from the Decoda Literacy Library.

Background & Research

Aboriginal financial literacy in Canada: issues and directions. (online)
Dominique Collin. Task Force on Financial Literacy, 2011.
» Examines the barriers to financial literacy, the cost of the financial literacy deficit and the promise of financial literacy development for four broad groups of Aboriginal communities. Presents recommendations for solutions and best practices.

Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy. (website)
» This organization was formed to help build financial literacy among low-income Canadians. The website links to research, services for training and program development, and resources for teaching and evaluation.

Canadians and their money: building a brighter financial future: report of recommendations on financial literacy. (online)
Task Force on Financial Literacy, 2010.
» Based on research and consultations with Canadians, this report proposes a national strategy on financial literacy. Includes an integrated set of 30 recommendations with five priorities.

The case for financial literacy: assessing the effects of financial literacy interventions for low income and vulnerable groups in Canada/. (online)
Jennifer Robson. Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy, 2012.
» The report specifically discusses community-based programming, and provides evidence for the general benefits such programming offers. A working definition of financial literacy is provided, as well as best practices for delivering financial literacy information to vulnerable groups; suggestions for future research are also provided, based on findings.

Essential skills and financial literacy: exploring the correlations, compatibility, and success factors. (online)
Toronto, Ont.: The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, 2012.
» This research study explores the link between financial literacy and Essential Skills. It found essential skills are a necessary foundation for the acquisition of financial literacy. Recommendations are made for the design of effective programs that simultaneously improve financial literacy and Essential Skills. Includes a learning framework for financial capability and responsibility.

The financial knowledge of Canadians. (online)
Leslie-Anne Keown. Ottawa, Ont.: Statistics Canada, 2011.
» This study explores in a national Canadian context how financial knowledge is related to socio-demographic characteristics and how financial knowledge is related to financial behaviours.

Financial literacy: a conceptual review. (online)
T. Scott Murray. Task Force on Financial Literacy, 2011.
» Makes the case that raising financial literacy levels of adults can only be achieved by raising literacy and numeracy skills; and that raising these levels would produce direct benefits to the Canadian economy.

Financial literacy & 21st century skills. (online)
Charles Fadel. Task Force on Financial Literacy, 2011.
» This report reviews why financial literacy should be taught, what should be taught, and how it should be taught. It outlines several approaches to introducing financial literacy into classrooms and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each. A review of financial literacy curricula in Austria, Australia, Japan and Wisconsin is included.

Money management on a shoestring: a critical literature review of financial literacy & low-income people. (online)
Jerry Buckland. Task Force on Financial Literacy, 2011.
» This report presents findings from academic and policy literature about the financial literacy of low-income people. It examines the measurement of financial literacy and evaluation of financial literacy programs from many countries, and presents recommendations about how policies might be more supportive for building low-income people’s financial literacy.

National report card on youth financial literacy. (online)
Vancouver, BC: British Columbia Securities Commission, 2011.
» This report is a Canadian benchmark study on youth financial life skills. This study focussed on Canadian high school graduates, 17 to 20 years of age. The information is intended to help educators and policymakers develop and deliver financial literacy programs for Canadian youth.

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Curriculum & Teaching Materials

Banking for lit and l. 1. 2nd ed.
Donna Bowler. Vancouver, B.C.: successintesl, 2013.
» This revised edition of ‘Banking for literacy’ includes a teacher’s manual and student handouts and activity masters for a one-month unit on banking for literacy/low 1 level ESL students. Topics include: number fluency and money amounts, reading and writing cheques, paying bills, steps in using a bank machine, and more. A sample reader and masters for 4 small readers are included.

Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy & TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund : financial literacy workshops: service providers participant material.
Diana Badke. Williams Lake, BC: Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy, 2011.
» This resources contains facilitator’s guides to financial literacy workshops on budgeting and money management, being a smart consumer, credit and debt, financial planning, food security, home financing, affordable housing and income tax. Includes handouts.

CCFL facilitator tools. (online)
Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy, 2009.—Worksheets.aspx
» This page contains links to participant handbooks, activity sheets, and handouts from the CCFL Community Facilitator Training Toolbox.

The City: online teacher training guide. (online)
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada in partnership with the BC Securities Commission. Ottawa, Ont.: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, 2008.
» This self-paced video tutorial introduces teachers to The City, a financial literacy program designed for young people in high school. It presents an overview of the program and emphasizes key activities and financial concepts. The City is available at

Financial basics: a financial literacy workshop. (kit)
Ottawa, Ont.: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, 2010.
» This kit contains the materials to present a workshop to help participants learn how to make a budget, manage expenses, understand credit and debt management, protect themselves from fraud, and save for the future. The CD includes all the workshop materials including presentation slides, evaluation forms, and promotional artwork. It is intended for use by post-secondary educational institutions, community organizations, and in the workplace.

Financial ESL literacy toolbox. (online)
Calgary, AB: Bow Valley College, 2010.
» This toolbox was designed in particular to support learners with interrupted formal education, with between four to nine years of education.

Financial literacy evaluation resource kit. (online)
Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy, 2009.
» Provides tools to collect demographic data, participant satisfaction levels, and pre and post assessment data to help evaluate a financial literacy program. Includes information on when to use the evaluation resources and how to use them.

Money math.
Lisa Campbell. Yellowknife, NT: NWT Literacy Council, 2009.
Also available online at
» This workbook contains math exercises organized around the theme of money: personal finances, saving money, and consumer math. It can be used in conjunction with ‘Simply Math’ , a book that reviews the math operations needed to solve the problems.

Money matters. (kit)
Toronto, Ont.: ABC Life Literacy Canada, 2011.
Associated website:
» This resource includes the course materials, practitioner guide, volunteer-tutor guide and volunteer training information for a free financial literacy and education savings program for adult learners. It was developed by ABC Life Literacy Canada with TD Bank Group and the Government of Canada. Money Matters brings TD Bank Group volunteer-tutors into community learning centres across Canada to teach numeracy and financial skills. The program is delivered in 2 four-hour units covering spending plans, banking basics, borrowing money, and RESPs and other ways to save.

Money skills manual: financial literacy.
Vancouver, BC: Family Services of Greater Vancouver, 2009.
» This is the manual for the 4 session Money Skills program, a free program offered through partnerships between Family Services of Greater Vancouver, their sponsors and community organizations across the Lower Mainland. It covers the topics of budgeting, banking, credit and consumerism, and was designed to offer practical knowledge to diverse populations, including low income participants, women, seniors, immigrants and refugees.

Newcomer finances toolkit. (online)
Ottawa, Ont.: Ottawa Community Loan Fund, n.d.
» This online toolkit includes an instructor’s manual, worksheets, and an online practice bank machine and debit machine. Also contains a guide for hosting a community financial literacy summit.

Number & money wizard. (game)
Donna Bowler. Vancouver, BC: successintesl, 2008?
» Intended for ESL learners at any level, each kit comes with class set of easy and difficult math problems, money amount cards, coin problem, real coin sets and laminated bills.

Practical money skills: Canada. (website)
Toronto, Ont.: Visa Canada, 2009-2012.
» This website contains information and learning resources for adults and children and teaching resources for educators.

Your financial toolkit: trainer’s toolkit. (online)
Ottawa, Ont.: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, 2012.
» This trainer’s guide provides general information on presenting effective sessions on financial literacy to adult learners as well as specific training materials for ‘Your Financial Toolkit’.

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Learning Materials for Adults

ADD and your money: a guide to personal finance for adults with attention deficit disorder.
Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, Karl Klein. Oakland, Calif.: New Harbinger Publications, 2009.
» This book offers practical financial management advice for adults with ADD who find impulsivity and distraction make it difficult to manage money.

BMO SmartSteps for Parents. (Website)
» Advice for parents, organized by children’s age groups.

A Canadian’s Guide to Money-Smart Living.
Kelley Keehn. Toronto: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2012.
» Financial expert Kelley Keehn covers the basics of money management such as budgeting, financial conversations, mortgages, debt, and credit scores. She seeks to help Canadians to understand how to live money-smart and she provides step-by-step instructions on how to become financially free. This book was awarded an Excellence in Financial Literacy Education Award.

Easy money. Good reads series.
Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Edmonton, AB: Grass Roots Press, 2010.
» In an honest, practical style, this book shows how to make your money work for you. Budgeting, saving, and getting debt paid off are explained in an easy to understand way. An online reading guide is available at

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. (website)
» The website of this government agency provides access to resources for consumers including publications, tools and calculators, and a number of financial education programs.

Financial literacy for older adults. (online)
Toronto, Ont.: National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly, n.d.
» Presents 8 tools designed for lower-income older adults to help with money management and developing a financial plan. A BC edition of each tool is available.

First Nations financial fitness: your guide for getting healthy, wealthy, and wise. (online)
Nene Kraneveldt. West Vancouver, BC: Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC, 2010.
» This handbook provides information, tools, and resources to help people make informed decisions about their relationship with money.

Living on a shoestring budget.
Dorothy Silver with Jan Greer Langley. Saint John, NB: Laubach Literacy of Canada, 2003.
» This resource outlines simple ways to change a lifestyle of spending, save money and use everyday materials. One of the authors was a literacy student and learner ambassador.

Living well on what you’ve got: tips & hints for making the most of every penny.
Cowichan Independent Living and Literacy Now Cowichan. Duncan, BC: Literacy Now Cowichan, 2011. Also available online at
» This booklet includes a variety of ideas for saving money and links to websites with addition ideas for saving money, living better and staying healthy.

A parent’s guide to raising money-smart kids.
Robin Taub.
Toronto: Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 2011.
» Designed to help parents communicate with their children about money and responsible money management, this book is divided into sections by children’s age: young children, pre-teens, teens, and emerging adults. Each section discusses earning, saving, spending, sharing, and investing.

Practical money skills: Canada. (website)
Toronto, Ont.: Visa Canada, 2009-2012.
» This website contains information and learning resources for adults and children and teaching resources for educators.

Stretch your dollars: budgeting basics. (online)
Alberta: Money Mentors, 2010. or
» Using clear language and examples, the authors provide information on establishing a budget, tracking expenses, and using credit effectively. They have included worksheets to help with budgeting; information about agencies that can help those in need; and tips for reducing expenses.

What your teachers never told you about managing your money. (online)
Nancy Woinoski, 2010.
» This is an informative and fun introductory ecourse on financial literacy. Using the story of a cartoon couple, it covers practical basics for developing and improving money management skills.

Your checking account. Rev., 4th ed.
Victoria W. Reitz. Portland, Maine: Walch Publishing, 2006.
» The skills covered in this student workbook include filling out deposit slips and ATM/debit applications, choosing a PIN , writing cheques, keeping records, and reconciling the register with a monthly statement. Gr. 3-4 reading level.

Your financial toolkit. (online)
Ottawa, Ont.: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, 2012.
» This online self-help resource provides information and tools to help individuals become better financial consumers. It includes 11 learning modules with videos, interactive worksheets, calculators, quizzes, questionnaires and case studies.

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Learning Materials for Youth

Consumer spending.
Nan Bostick & Susan M. Freese. Costa Mesa, Calif.: Saddleback Publishing, 2012.
» Illustrated with colour photos and written in plain language, this guide to consumer spending covers the basics of being a wise buyer, shopping for goods and services, and knowing your rights as a consumer. While the material is written with older teens and young adults in mind, the information is applicable to a wider audience.

Managing money.
Nan Bostick & Susan M. Freese. Costa Mesa, Calif.: Saddleback Publishing, 2012.
» Illustrated with colour photos and written in plain language, this book covers information on personal financial management including controlling spending, banking basics, credit, and budgeting skills. Includes a word list at the end and definitions of words throughout the text.

Money and youth. (online)
Gary Rabbior. Toronto, Ont.: Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, 2006.
» Provides an introduction to financial decision making and money management for youth.

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Last updated: October 2013