Home Economics aims to help Canadians navigate their personal finances in the age of social distancing and beyond.

What Black Friday looks like during the COVID era

Given a string of new lockdown measures as the country grapples with a second wave of COVID-19, it’s no surprise Black Friday has been more toned down this year. Still, some observers predict the sales event that traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season will mark the busiest shopping day of 2020. From buying local to fewer crowds, industry experts weigh in on how shopping this holiday season will look different for both consumers and retailers.

It may be time for savers to adjust their investment strategy

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem took the opportunity to remind Canadians that interest rates aren’t moving higher anytime soon when he addressed the House Finance Committee on Thursday. The prolonged low-rate environment means Canadians face the difficult situation of earning nearly nothing on their money as bank accounts, money-market funds and other short-term instruments that used to offer decent returns may no longer do. CTV's Chief Financial Commentator Pattie Lovett-Reid says this means it may be time for savers, particularly those in or nearing retirement, to change their investing strategy.

What to do with all those unused travel points

As many Canadians postpone their vacation dreams amid COVID-related restrictions, some may be wondering what they should do with their unused travel credit card reward points. Many Canadian banks have adapted their rewards programs in order to include different offerings and focus on the new spending habits that have emerged during the pandemic. Personal Finance experts Melissa Leong and Jamie Golombek offer suggestions for what Canadians can do with their built-up rewards such as hoarding their points for future travel, or using them for other priorities such as groceries or gifts for the holidays.

Canadians feeling financially stuck as pandemic drags on

As the pandemic continues to affect different aspects of people’s lives, many are left feeling financially stuck. Nearly three out of every four Canadians polled for Manulife Bank’s Debt Survey said their financial situation has been impacted by the pandemic. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Canadians surveyed said COVID-19 may have pushed their dream of homeownership out of reach. The financial toll has left the majority of indebted respondents feeling stressed about their debt loads with 35 per cent saying the worry is keeping them up at night.

Received CERB? Be prepared to pay income tax

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was a lifeline for many struggling financially during COVID-19, but as the year comes to an end, recipients may not be aware of how the benefit will affect their taxes. Tax experts believe now is a good time for Canadians to check if they owe tax on their CERB payments which may depend on their total income generated during 2020. CIBC's Jamie Golombek advises Canadians to find out what the amount owed is in order ​to set aside cash for when taxes are due next spring.


"With proper planning the TFSA and RRSP can compliment each other. Over time, RRSP contributions can be restricted to limit withdrawals in retirement to the lowest marginal tax bracket, and TFSA withdrawals can provide the rest of the income needed." - Personal Finance Columnist Dale Jackson