10 financial literacy tips from adult learners

November is Financial Literacy Month (FLM), an initiative launched by numerous community groups, non-profits and government bodies to help Canadians improve their financial literacy skills.

Four in 10 Canadians report that money is a daily concern, and a third of low-income Canadians report that they worry about money almost constantly. Financial literacy skills have the power to improve confidence around financial decisions, ultimately giving people the knowledge and empowerment needed to feel more secure about their financial situation.

Money Matters is a free program that aims to build these financial literacy skills. Developed with support of founding sponsor TD Bank Group, the program is written and designed with the adult learner in mind. This means that all activities are approachable and discussion-based, and focus on topics based on extensive research and feedback from learners. The program content is written at a literacy level 2 (grade 6-8 reading level).

Since 2011, Money Matters has reached over 52,000 adults. Here are 10 financial literacy tips from some of the adult learners that have participated in the Money Matters program.

  1. Ask yourself if the item you “need” is actually more of a want than a necessity. If you still think you need it, wait 14 days before purchasing to see if it’s really that important.
  1. Invest in stocks or mutual funds to make your money work for you.
  1. A TFSA is one of the best investments a newbie investor can make. The money you make in interest or investment profit is fully tax-free.
  1. Putting just $50 a month away in an RRSP can make you $500,000 if you start before you’re 30.
  1. Always eat before grocery shopping to avoid impulse purchases while hungry.
  1. Try not to spend unnecessarily on convenience.
  1. Open a high-interest savings account.
  1. Borrowing money isn’t always bad, especially if you’re using it to buy something like a house. It can be a good long-term investment.
  1. Talk to people who are more knowledgeable about money. While it might seem daunting to ask people about money, you shouldn’t feel bad about asking simple questions. By asking them why they made their own financial decisions, you’ll become more confident in making your own decisions.
  1. You don’t have to put all of your investments in “high-risk” or “low-risk” stocks or mutual funds. You can diversify your investment portfolio.

For more information about the Money Matters program, to book a workshop, or to access free financial literacy resources, visit www.abcmoneymatters.ca.