Since the economic crisis of 2008 there has been a greater push for Canadians to become more financially literate. This means having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions. Experts agree that Canadians are still failing to take charge of their money matters and are therefore ill equipped to save money and protect their futures.
A Failing Grade
Take for example a recent poll by Investor Education Fund that asks basic questions about the benefits of RRSP contributions, the impact of a large principle on interest payments and the indicators of fraud. It found less than one third of respondents scored higher that 60 per cent. The most concerning group was the one under 35 per cent. The majority in this group was unable to understand simple concepts such as the financial consequences of a longer amortization period.
This November marks the second annual Financial Literacy Month, an event created to highlight some of the best ways Canadians can become more financially literate. Over 30 days, events will be held around the country bringing together resources, information, products and services developed to help Canadians strengthen their financial literacy.
What It’s All About
Financial literacy month was born out of a need for Canadians to better to understand money matters. It’s run by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and The Financial Literacy Action Group(FLAG). They are a coalition of seven organizations that work to assist and improve the financial literacy of Canadians.
Those groups are:
- ABC Life Literacy Canada
- Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE)
- Credit Canada Debt Solutions
- Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC)
- Investor Education Fund (IEF)
- Junior Achievement
- Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI)
What Does it Teach?
Along with daily events during the month, FCAC puts out daily money tips and fact sheets, on mortgages, credit card use and debt repayment. Access the full list here.
Focusing On Youth
A part of Financial Literacy Month centers on young people under the age 19. This group is identified as those with the most to gain from learning better financial habits. FCAC is further engaging this group by holding a contest (and a MacBook Pro is up for grabs)!
Here are the details:
The Financial Literacy Month (FLM) Video Contest is calling on all those between the ages of 13-19 to present a video with the following.
- Fits within the theme “How I am saving for…”
- Shows and explains how you are saving for or managing your money to achieve a financial goal
- Ends with the line “Financial Understanding. It Just Adds Up.”
- Is one to three minutes (maximum) long.
Financial Literacy Year Round
While November may be the flagship month for financial literacy, the initiative by FLAG is all year round. They work 365 days a year to maintain a high profile for financial literacy in Canada and contribute to Canada’s ability to demonstrate and achieve excellence and leadership in the field of financial literacy. Check out a financial literacy event – you might learn a thing or two to make better financial decisions, especially during the expensive holiday season.