Living on Low Income

Living on a low income can mean that you're often in survival mode, facing a struggle to stay afloat, never mind getting ahead. Every bit of your money goes to the here and now, and you never get the opportunity to indulge in any extras, never mind saving for tomorrow. Here's some good news. We can help. 

First: file your taxes and get your benefits

The smartest thing you can do when living on a low income is to file your taxes.

  • by filing your taxes, you'll make sure you get all the benefits you're entitled to which can include GST, Child Care Benefits, Old Age Security and more
  • you'll become eligible for grants, bonds and subsidies that you wouldn't be able to access otherwise; if you need old slips or paperwork before you can file your taxes, contact the Canada Revenue Agency for help
  • if it's been a few years since you filed or you simply don't know where to start, contact SEED Winnipeg and ask about their Access to Benefits program; SEED should be able to help you get what you need to start filing your taxes and building up your income

Open a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Even though money is tight, you can still build a brighter tomorrow for your children by saving with an RESP. It doesn't cost anything to open a RESP, and there's extra money available to low income families to help you save for your children's future. All that's asked is that both you and your children have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). By opening an RESP, you can also apply for the Canada Learning Bond which can contribute up to $2,000 to your child's education fund.

Seeking help through community resources

ACU works with a variety of non-profit organizations which support people living on a low-income. Come in to an ACU branch and ask us for information if you don't know where to start. Or, check out our Financial Access Programs if you'd like to learn more about asset building and matched savings or community referrals. A helpful hint: look for a partner in your neighbourhood, as they may offer more services that could be helpful and they're closer by when you need them.


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