Well that is the saying, and although there is a lot more to life than money it sure helps to pay bills and to cover the cost of living when studying in Canada. If you don’t immediately have a bank account, or prefer not to use a debit card, paying for items in Canada is your next best option.
Here are some things you will want to know about Canadian money:
It’s Coloured – That means that each denomination is coloured differently. A $100 bill is a beige/tan colour, a $50.00 bill is red, and a $20 bill is green. The $10.00 banknote is purple and the smallest banknote, $5.00, is blue. It’s pretty easy to figure out and not make mistakes because the numbers as you can see in the image are fairly large and the colours keep you from getting confused.
Dollar coins – Our smallest dollars are coins, called of all things loonies and toonies. The $1 denomination is called a loonie and the $2 one is called a toonie. How did Canadians choose those names for their currency? Well, the $1 loonie bears the image of a loon, a bird commonly seen on Canadian lakes. The $2 toonie combines the number two (2) and loonie to make toonie.
Cents or Sense – It takes 100 cents to equal 1 dollar and we have a number of coins that we use. There is a 25 cent coin, called a quarter, or in slang called two-bits, which is the largest of our non-dollar coins. Then we have a dime which is equal to 10₵ and a nickel which is equal to 5₵. The penny, or 1 cent coin is no long being minted and no one should be giving you pennies. If you do have some pennies, the bank will exchange them into larger denominations.
They’re Washable – I am not saying that you should wash your currency. But unlike banknotes in other parts of the world, if you do, by mistake end up washing your dollar bills, don’t panic, they will not disintegrate in the washing machine. They will come out of the wash nice and clean and totally useable – none the worse for wear. As a student on a budget while studying in Canada, it is an important piece of information.
Damaged Currency? – If you accidentally tear a Canadian banknote, it still has the same value. Just tape it up with clear tape and use it. You can still give it to a shopkeeper and he/she will accept it. Even a slightly damaged coin is worthwhile. A small dent is okay and you probably will not have coins that are damaged completely. If your banknote is old, it too is valuable; although with the rate of inflation these days, but if you are a student studying in Canada, it will be difficult to keep your bills long enough for them to ever get old.
Canadian dollars are made out of good quality material and it is hard to counterfeit. But just like in every other part of the world, take care of your wallet and purse when you are out shopping in Canada. Make sure you don’t leave them behind in a store or other public place. Canadians like to pride themselves in their honesty, but an easy temptation is a thief’s lucky day.