10 financial literacy tips to mark 10 years of Financial Literacy Month

November marks the 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month (FLM), an initiative launched by numerous community groups, non-profits and government bodies to help improve Canadians’ financial literacy levels.

With four in 10 Canadians reporting that money is a daily concern, and a third of low-income Canadians reporting that they worry about money almost constantly, financial literacy is a skill that helps improve confidence around financial decisions.

After a difficult year, many Canadians are finding themselves struggling financially more than ever. Through Financial Literacy Month, Canadians can leverage information and support from various non-profits and government agencies to better understand their finances. When Canadians are better able to understand finances, they become more confident, and ultimately make better decisions about their money.

“Financial literacy is now more important than ever given the economic situation being faced by Canadians,” says Mack Rogers, Executive Director of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “We are pleased to be actively participating in Financial Literacy Month again this year to help adult learners improve their confidence around money, while also providing helpful resources to the literacy community.”

ABC Life Literacy Canada is proud to offer a number of initiatives taking place throughout the month, including a free 5-part webinar series and the introduction of the new Spending Plans course on the ABC Skills Hub online learning platform. Part of the Money Matters program, the webinar series is targeted at adult learners to help them better understand their finances, and will cover topics such as creating a budget, building credit and avoiding online scams.

Money Matters is a free introductory financial literacy program for adult learners, developed with support of founding sponsor TD Bank Group (TD) 10 years ago when Financial Literacy Month was first celebrated. The program is full of learning activities that can be adapted according to the needs of individual groups and delivered across Canada through workshops, which are often led by local TD volunteer tutors.

“Continuing to support Canadians with access to tools and programs that build financial knowledge, like Money Matters, is even more important in today’s climate,” Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. “Through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s global corporate citizenship platform, we are dedicated to helping thousands of people make sense of their finances and improve their financial literacy skills.”

In honour of the 10th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month, here are 10 financial literacy tips shared by 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, such as this ‘Money Words Vocabulary Sheet‘, visit www.abcmoneymatters.ca.