Canadians encouraged to manage their money wisely
Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader Jane Rooney today kicked off the sixth annual Financial Literacy Month (FLM), a campaign focused on helping Canadians take ownership of their personal finances.
Under the theme “Managing money and debt wisely—It Pays to Know!”, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), in collaboration with organizations across the country, will raise awareness about the need for Canadians to get back to money basics. Every week in November will be dedicated to a topic that will encourage Canadians to: establish a budget, live within their means, have a savings plan, know their rights and responsibilities and review their finances as life changes happen.
“Financial literacy is an essential life skill. For the sixth consecutive year, we are dedicating a month to raising Canadians’ awareness about the importance of financial literacy to help them make the best financial decisions for their circumstances. This year’s FLM is an opportunity to focus on the importance of the basics, such as budgeting, saving and managing debt, in a more complicated financial and technological reality,” said Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader.
The Canadian Financial Literacy Database has more than 1,200 resources, tips, calculators, articles and tools offered by public, private and non-profit organizations for all ages and income levels. It can help Canadians with everything from understanding how to choose the right credit card, car loan or mortgage for their needs, to learning how to budget and the importance of saving each month.
Less than half (45%) of Canadians have household budgets, according to FCAC’s 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey. Yet among those who do have a budget, 93% stay within it most of the time. The survey also found a large majority of young people (80%) are not confident in their financial knowledge and that most people (60%) do not know how much they will need to maintain their desired standard of living in retirement.
A study released by the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA) in September showed that many Canadians are barely making ends meet. Almost half of those surveyed (48%) for the CPA’s national survey of Canadian employees reported it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their pay cheque was delayed by one week.
Canadian household debt exceeded the country’s gross domestic product for the first time in the second quarter this year, according to recent data released by Statistics Canada. At the same time, the ratio of household credit market debt to disposable income rose to 167.6% between April and June from 165.2% in the first quarter.