By Jane Rooney, Canada's Financial Literacy Leader
Financial Literacy Month (FLM) is in its fifth year and I am happy to report that hundreds of events are taking place across the country helping people gain the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to make responsible financial decisions. As Financial Literacy Leader, I will be meeting individuals and different groups from coast to coast to see firsthand the great work that is being done to strengthen financial literacy in Canada.
FLM is also a great opportunity to talk about personal finances.
Canadians are becoming more and more indebted. Debt will follow you for a long time and can affect your credit rating. Getting a credit card, a job or even an apartment can be difficult if you have bad credit. We all know that debt can also lead to stress. Financial well-being is within reach. A first step is managing money and debt wisely.
Here are three tips to help you manage your finances better:
- Make a budget. It will be easier to handle your finances if you write down the numbers. You will have a clearer idea of how much you earn, spend and then what you have left to save and pay down debt.
- Don’t buy what you can’t afford. Always ask yourself: is it a “want” or a “need”? Impulse shopping should be avoided as much as possible. It is always a good idea to “sleep on it.”
- Perform a debt check-up. Are you at risk if the interest rate rises? If you need help managing your debt, credit counselling can be an option for you.
You can also consult the tools and resources available on the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada:
- The Canadian Financial Literacy Database provides a comprehensive list of financial literacy resources, events, tools and information from various financial education providers from the public, private and non-profit sectors.
- A life event entitled Dealing with Debt.
- A topic on the website called Budgeting and money management.
- A Budget Calculator tool.
This November, think about how you are managing your finances. Managing your money is a lifelong skill. Little steps can lead to big changes, and these big changes can really have a positive impact on your life. Join the conversation on Twitter via #CountmeinCA and #FLM2015 and participate in the FLM daily challenge on Facebook.