Financial wellness can dramatically affect one's life. The excessive stress that poor financial wellness can contribute to chronic physical illness, such as high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, obesity and diabetes. A number of studies have shown direct links between financial stress and poor physical and mental health.

The term “financial wellness” includes three different elements of an your financial situation and your attitudes towards it: 

Financial health

An objective measure relating to DEBT an employee’s financial resources and the ability to 167% meet their ongoing financial obligations including planning for retirement

Financial well-being

A subjective measure, involving an employee’s attitudes and confidence about their financial situation, and about their ability to manage it over the short and long term

Financial literacy

The knowledge and skills needed to make responsible financial decisions, along with the ability to apply that knowledge to everyday life.


Feeling stressed about money can affect relationships, the ability to parent, decision-making and your job, and can affect your energy levels, sleep and self-esteem and can lead to depression and anxiety.

Becoming financial literate can help you reduce financial stress. Being financial literate means you understand the importance of saving to reach your goals, both short and long-term (like retirement). You understand the difference between good and bad debt and you live within your means, stick to a budget, and spend responsibly. If you aren't financially literate, you are at risk of overspending, going into debt and not saving enough for your future.

Use the following tips to guide you, help prevent debt and achieve peace of mind about your personal finances.

  1. Keep Track of Your Spending and Make a Budget
    Start keeping track of what you spend; this is the first step in creating a budget that will help you free up money to reduce your debt. A good budget includes all monthly bills, food, entertainment and miscellaneous items. This will prevent spending thoughtlessly and buying on impulse.

  2. Put Needs Before Wants
    Buy what you need first. Eliminate unnecessary expenses by looking for things you can live without.

  3. Reduce Banking Fees
    Some automated banking machines (ABMs) charge $2 or more for withdrawals. Use ABMs from your own financial institution and review your banking package.

  4. Limit Credit Card Use
    Using credit cards with no plan to pay the debt is reckless and financially irresponsible. To avoid getting into more debt, use cash or a debit card instead of a credit card. That way, you will be spending money you already have. Only use credit when you can pay it off within a few months.

  5. Pay Highest Interest Rate Debts First
    If you have a balance on your credit card, then this is likely the debt with the highest interest rate. Never use one credit card to pay the debt of another; use cash or a debit card to avoid accumulating more debt.

  6. Reduce Small, Reoccurring Expenses
    Little savings every day can go a long way. Take public transportation or bring your lunch to work. Eliminating that extra $1.50 coffee each workday can mean an extra $400 a year in savings. Put the money saved into an account or immediately direct a portion of your paycheck into your savings account so that you never even see it. Aim to save enough money to be able to pay your bills for six months.

  7. Avoid “Buy Now Pay Later” Offers
    When you are having problems making ends meet, the administrative fees tied to such offers and high interest rates if you do not pay on time will only add to your existing debt load.

  8. Contact Creditors
    As soon as you realize that you are having trouble making ends meet, call your creditors and explain the situation. In most cases, they will work out a modified payment plan that will make it easier for you to pay off your debt. Then, dedicate a specific time every month to sit down with your bills, pay them and determine how much is available to spend in the month ahead.

  9. Get a Consolidation Loan
    This means getting one single loan to pay off all your existing debts and having just one monthly payment to make. Once you consolidate your debts, you must stop using any credit cards or line of credit that you consolidated into the new loan. For more information on a consolidation loan, talk to your banking or financial professional.

  10. Talk to Trusted Financial Professionals
    These may include your bank representative, a financial planner or a credit counselling agency. With their help, you will be able to evaluate your current debt situation, determine your present and future needs, make a budget, and find ways to pay off your debt. Be sure to set up a way to pay taxes correctly and on time. Unpaid tax debt that accumulates can cause bankruptcy.

Planning and financial advice

Employee and Family Assistance Program

USask's Employee and Family Assistance Program financial experts can talk to you by phone about money concerns and give you information and resources on many topics, such as budgeting, getting out of debt and saving.

Sun Life

If you are eligible for benefits you will have access to Sun live Financial website which has a wealth of information regarding financial planning and investments.

Government of Canada

The Government of Canada provides information on managing your money, debt and investments, planning for retirement and protecting yourself from consumer fraud.

Financial wellness events


Other Resources

Getting help

Employee and Family Assistance Program

USask's Employee and Family Assistance Program offers someone to talk to and resources to consult whenever and wherever you need.

Free and confidential support services include:

  • Confidential emotional support
  • Work-life solutions
  • Legal guidance
  • Financial resources
  • Physical health coaching 

1-855-575-1740 (toll-free)

Sun Life Customer Call Centre

Sun Life has a Customer Call Centre that provides information directly related to your benefits, claims submitted and status of your claim. Other questions or scenarios that Sun Life can assist with are:

 1-800-361-6212 during the work week from 8am to 8 pm EST.

Or connect online through your MySunLife account. Visit and enter your access ID and password. 

Some information on this page was taken from the Employee Family Assistance Program's online resources.

Health and Wellness Disclaimer: The wellness information on this website is provided as information only and should not serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, or treatment from qualified physicians, mental health care providers, or other health care providers.