The concept of free money resonates with every living person. Whether allowances from parents, a treat from your spouse, gifts from friends, handouts from strangers, a free movie ticket, train ride, candy, or some manna from heaven, we all love to get things for free.
Whenever we express such wishes, it is not uncommon to hear statements like, “nothing goes for nothing”. Some might even add that “there’s no free lunch” to drive home the point.
However, they are all wrong! There are so many places you can get a couple of free dollars in Canada. You just have to ask. If you have been asking, well, you’ve come to the right place. And no, it’s not another Ponzi scheme or MLM.
This article will point you towards a few places where you can pick up some free cash—excited yet? Well, let’s get right to it!
How to Get Free Money from the Canadian Government
Let’s start with the government. The government is the big beast with the long arm that takes a slice off your paychecks in the name of taxes. Right? What if there was a way to get back some of that cash and more. Let’s have a look.
1. Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
If you are reading this from home when you usually should be at work, then you are probably familiar with the CERB.
In March 2020, the Canadian government launched the CERB as a financial lifeline to support people who have lost jobs or potential hours of work due to the grueling effects of COVID-19.
It also applies to freelancers and informal contract workers who would not normally qualify for Employment Insurance benefits.
The benefit is CA$2000 for a four-week period which works out to around CA$500 per week. Easy money! You can apply here.
2. Canada Child Benefit Program
Parenting is often tagged thankless job, but surely, a handful of cash can sure make up for some of the sleepless nights and days of endless ice-hockey cheering.
With the Canada Child Benefit program, parents of children under 18 can get a sizable tax-free monthly payment.
The amount you get is determined by the number of kids you have, their age, and your family’s income. However, the maximum amount you can get is CA$563.75 per child.
But that’s not all. Many provinces also offer various assistance programs to offset family costs. In Ontario, for example, you can get an additional $119 per month for each child.
You can apply for the Canada Child Benefit program here.
3. Save the Earth, Earn Money!
Since the turn of the millennium, global warming has become a constant discourse among the world’s leaders. Governments worldwide are making several efforts to encourage citizens to live and carry on business in a more eco-friendly manner.
In the same vein, several provinces in Canada now offer financial incentives for residents to make greener or energy-saving upgrades to their homes.
You can access tax credits or cash incentives for installing a rooftop garden in your home or switching to energy-saving electricity alternatives.
If you own a business, you get incentives for making energy-saving upgrades and greener waste disposal.
Think of the thousands of dollars you could get, as well as all the money you’ll be saving on your energy bill. Apply here
4. Home Safety
Do you have mobility issues due to disability or long-term infirmity? Or are you looking after your aging parents who have some trouble getting around? You might just be eligible for a giant slice of the free money pie.
In Canada, senior citizens and people with disabilities can get a tax credit for significant safety or mobility upgrades in their homes.
With the Home Accessibility Tax Credit, the government helps citizens cover renovation costs that may make your house easier to navigate and reduce injuries. Such renovations may be in the form of chair lifts or wheelchair ramps.
The Home Accessibility Tax Credit allows you to claim up to $10,000 of eligible home improvements per year and get 15% back when tax season comes around.
You can get more information about the HATC here
How to get free money from Your Employer in Canada
5. RRSP Matching Plan
RRSP is a savings scheme developed by the Canadian government to help you prepare for retirement. You save a percentage of your income monthly.
Many employers in Canada offer to match as high as 100% of your own total RRSP contributions.
If you don’t have an RRSP yet, open one now and take advantage of this program to get your employer to make additional contributions on your behalf.
Click here to find out other things you should know about RRSP.
6. Child Education Support
Some companies in Canada also offer programs to support their employee’s children’s education. Talk to your HR department to know if your employer has similar programs.
You might just get some extra cash to support your children’s education.
How to get free money while shopping in Canada
Coupons have been around for quite a long time. They offer diverse discounts and special deals. Coupons are essentially a great way to get free money. Remember that in the long run, coupons only make financial sense if you buy things you actually need.
To find out where you can get free coupons in Canada, Click here.
8. Cash Rewards on Retail Sites
Many airlines, online retail stores, and other businesses have loyalty programs where you earn points on every purchase you make. You can then proceed to exchange these for rewards for cash or purchase other items available in the store.
Typically you have to claim your loyalty points within a specific period, or you lose them.
How to get free money from your bank in Canada
9. Credit Card Rewards
One way to get some free cash from your bank is through credit card rewards. You can earn cash back on every purchase that you make with your card.
However, this only applies if you use your card responsibly and meet up with your regular payments. Speak to a representative at your bank to get more details about their credit card reward policy.
10. Account Opening Promotions
Did you know you can earn free money just by opening a new account with a bank? Here’s how. From time to time, Canada’s biggest banks often run account opening promotions in a bid to attract new customers.
If you happen to open an account while such offers are on, you can earn as much as CA$300 cash just for onboarding.
However, to qualify, you will need to fulfill a couple of conditions, such as linking your payroll deposit to the new bank account or making a few bill payments online.
The timing of these promotions often varies, so keep your ears open and stay in touch with your banker friends.
11. Switch to High-Interest Savings Account (HISA)
Do you have money that’s just sitting idly in your bank account? Your rainy-day fund or money you’re setting aside for a big purchase? You are not alone.
Thousands of Canadians leave their money at the bank and get almost nothing in return.
There’s great news. You can begin to earn a lot of money without moving a muscle. All you have to do is move your spare cash into High-Interest Savings Account (HISA). There are several Canadian online banks that offer significant interest rates for keeping your money with them.
In most cases, you can open an account online in seconds and proceed to transfer your funds. Also, some of these accounts attract no fees and zero minimum balance requirements.
If you are wondering where to look? Try EQ Bank or Tangerine Bank and start earning between 2% to 3% interest on your savings.
Random Ways to Get Free Money in Canada
12. Get Paid for Losing Weight
A lot of people around the world have weight loss targets. Well, there is a website that pays you to hit your weight loss target, literally. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, here’s how it works.
Sign up on HealthyWage, and you start by entering the target weight you wish to lose. This amount can be between 10 and 150 pounds, but it should be at least 10% of your starting weight.
The next step is to choose a timeframe within which you wish to attain your weight loss target, along with the dollar amount you are willing to bet for the duration of the challenge.
For example, CA$15/month, for three months. The HealthyWage Prize Calculator then calculates your prize amount. However, you’ll also have to provide video evidence of your starting and finishing weight. Another website that pays you to lose weight is Dietbet.
If you hit your weight loss goal, you get to win the prize amount. Free money, it’s that easy.
13. Dog Walking
What if you can transform a dog into a cash cow?
Rover is a dog walking/pet sitting app that connects more than 100,000 dog owners with other dog lovers across Canada, the USA, and the UK.
If you’re a dog lover, Rover allows you to get paid to walk other people’s pets or pet-sit while their owners are out of town. The Rover app will connect you with people within your local community.
This is a very cool side hustle that can yield significant income at no cost to you.
Another great feature of this is that you have the exclusive ability to pick up jobs according to your schedule. You get to decide when you want to walk a pet and how often.
Check out the Rover app here for more information.
The methods listed above are legitimate ways to get some cash for free in Canada. However, in your quest to get some free money, ensure to stay alert and avoid get-rich-quick schemes, Ponzi schemes, or outright fraud.