Surprising ways to make money in a tough economy


(NC) With the pandemic causing financial uncertainty for Canadians, many of us could use a little extra support to help make ends meet. Although it can be hard to find full-time work in today’s job market, there are other ways to generate some extra cash. Here are a few unexpected ideas:  

Government benefits. 

Most of us are familiar with new supports like the wage subsidy and the recently ended CERB. But there are plenty of other, less publicized programs that you may qualify for. Look into smaller supports available through your province and municipality, as well as government-owned corporations. Depending on where you live, you can find subsidies and incentives for everything from your hydro bills to daycare and even an e-bike. 

Unclaimed benefits

Past contracts and policies you’ve signed but forgotten about could mean you qualify for unclaimed money. You may be able to cash out shares you didn’t know you had, or qualify for other benefits, such as from an old insurance policy. For example, Economical Mutual Insurance Company is encouraging policyholders, even if their policy has expired, to check their eligibility for its demutualization. More than 630,000 customers who held a policy for the 12-month period ending on November 3, 2015 may be eligible for a one-time financial benefit in the form of cash or shares if the company successfully completes an IPO (initial public offering) and becomes publicly traded. 

Retraining programs

With many people looking for a job and remote work changing how many industries function, post-secondary institutions and federal and provincial governments are helping people learn new skills and upgrade their qualifications. These investments in education may mean more people are eligible for financial aid to cover tuition and some living expenses while you study. And with a new cultural focus on social justice, there are additional supports that marginalized groups can access.