Financial literacy makes a big difference

Basic skills in managing personal finances are crucial.

Editor: Canada’s second Financial Literacy Month is now in full swing. With the holiday shopping season coming up soon, there’s no better time to take advantage of the many events being held to teach the basic skills of managing personal finances.

Throughout November, community groups, colleges, schools, employers and agencies of every level of government are hosting seminars, workshops and other types of training sessions on topics such as making a budget you can live within, teaching your kids about money, saving for a down payment on a home, retirement or your children’s education or paying down debt.

You can find all the information about dates, times and places on the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) at itpaystoknow.gc.ca/flm.

Financial literacy is more important for Canadians now than ever before. Being able to manage your personal finances is an essential life skill today, right up there with mastering the ABCs and learning to tie shoelaces.

People without the knowledge and skills to manage their own personal finances often make poor financial choices, such as carrying a credit card balance every month. For Canadians who are not saving enough to live on after retirement, or those facing mortgage payments or student loans that squeeze their budgets, improved financial literacy can make a big difference in their lives.

Because financially literate people understand how the financial system works, how to manage their money and how to make choices that best suit their needs and income, they’re able to make responsible financial decisions. People who develop their financial management skills have more self-confidence, better understand financial products and services and enjoy long-term financial well-being.

FCAC has provided Canadian consumers with objective information about financial products and services since 2001. We’ve partnered with community groups, volunteer organizations, educational institutions and other government agencies to bring information, tools and educational programs about money matters to Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Take the opportunity to check out our Financial Literacy Month calendar of events, see what’s happening in your area, and learn how to take charge of your financial life.

Ursula Menke, commissioner,

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada