Canada’s financial literacy blog

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial literacy and Indigenous Peoples: A new working group

June 21, 2018

To mark National Indigenous Peoples Day this year, I’d like to share with you an exciting new initiative involving financial literacy and Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.

How far we’ve come and what’s next: an interview with Dilip Soman

May 24, 2018

In this final segment of blogs about the progress of our National Research Plan on Financial Literacy, I’d like to take a moment to thank members of our first Research Sub-Committee 2016-18, who completed their two-year term in February. Your efforts have helped us to draw an important road map for financial literacy research going forward!

In this blog post, I’m going to share a conversation with a member of the sub-committee, Dilip Soman, who was recently named as the Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics. I asked him to gauge our progress to date and give a taste of where we need to go from here. 

A nudge in a new direction: behavioural economics and financial literacy

Magnifiying glass with pie chart and smart phone with photos of people

May 14, 2018

How do we change behaviour for the better? It’s a question that has preoccupied many researchers for a long time. One thing we know: it’s not easy.

The field of behavioural economics recognizes that humans don’t always act in rational ways, but are influenced by so-called “behavioural biases.” This means that the way people act depends on the situation and the context. Today we are learning more about the field of behavioural economics and how it can provide useful insights about how people will behave in a given context. Those insights can inform the design of better financial literacy programs and interventions.

A baseline for financial literacy research in Canada: the importance of confidence

May 3, 2018

Confidence matters when it comes to financial literacy. That’s the takeaway of today’s post, in which I will highlight some of the exciting findings in the Progress Report: Canada’s National Research Plan on Financial Literacy 2016-2018, which we released last week.

Guest blog post: Five tips for getting home buying done right

April 30, 2018

By Carla Staresina, Vice President, Client Relationship Management, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Few events in life are as significant as walking through the door of your new home for the first time. Are you prepared? Do you fully know what you’re getting into?  

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recently did a survey of more than 2,500 prospective home buyers – 60% of them first time buyers – to shed some light on their thoughts, behaviours and actions. From our results, we’ve gleaned 5 tips to help you make a smooth transition to homeownership.

Making an impact: Results of the National Research Plan 

April 26, 2018

Two years ago, a distinguished group of research experts was appointed to our first Research Sub-Committee at FCAC. Their task was to work in collaboration with other stakeholders on research-related matters while advising me and my National Steering Committee.

I was very proud to work with the sub-committee to advance research efforts in the financial literacy domain. Now that its mandate has come to a close, I wanted to use this space to update you about the phenomenal progress its members have made toward the goals of its National Research Plan for Financial Literacy 2016-2018.

It’s tax time! Using your income tax refund wisely

April 23, 2018

It’s tax time again! While not everyone looks forward to doing them, for many people, filing taxes can be the first step toward greater financial well-being. Today I want to talk about how we at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada are encouraging positive saving and spending habits through the income tax filing process.

Getting a mortgage? It pays to know before you owe

April 20, 2018

Are you getting into the housing market this spring? Or are you one of the 47% of homeowners whose mortgage is up for renewal by November 2018, according to the Bank of Canada?

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, considering moving, or your mortgage is coming up for renewal, there’s a lot to think about. Interest rates have increased since last summer, after remaining quite low for 7 years. And mortgages have changed—becoming more complex in recent years. 

 

Spring forward with our updated financial tools!

April 17, 2018

Spring is a wonderful season to clean out the cobwebs and start fresh. It’s also a good time to get on top of your finances. A little financial spring cleaning can go a long way toward improving your financial well-being. 

Guest blog post: Protecting yourself from mortgage fraud

March 28, 2018

By: Vesna Spehar, Account Manager, Client Relations at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

As Fraud Prevention Month comes to a close and home buying season begins, remember that if you plan on purchasing a home there are simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of mortgage fraud. 

Be a fraud-buster this month – and every month!

March 2, 2018

To mark this year’s Fraud Prevention Month, I’d like to talk about why it’s important to report fraud when it happens to you, or if you suspect someone of trying to commit fraud. And I’ll share some tips about how to report different kinds of fraud.

Keep the January blues at bay

January 26, 2018

It’s that time of year when the excitement of the holidays is over and finances can be stressful. January can be a tough month for many families.

Let the season shine with a holiday budget!

December 13, 2017

It’s that time of year when the cold weather pushes us indoors, and we spend more time with family and friends, attending parties and other get-togethers. In stores, the lights are glittering, the music is playing, and excitement is building towards the holidays. It’s a time of year that shines. 

But the desire to make the holidays magical can sometimes cloud our vision, and lead to a dark storm of financial obligations come January.

Guest blog post: A behavioural lens on financial literacy

November 30, 2017

By Dilip Soman, Professor of Marketing and Co-Director of Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman School of Management and Jane Rooney, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader 

In an era of uncertainty and massive changes in the financial services sector ushered in by technology, it is even more important for Canadians to be able to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.

The importance of knowing your financial rights and responsibilities

November 27, 2017

This is the final week of Financial Literacy Month! Thank you for joining the conversation. This week, we’re talking about how mortgages have changed in recent years and what you need to know to protect your long-term financial interests.

Guest blog post: Teaching youth to manage money

November 23, 2017

By James Cunningham, Comedian, Host and Funny Money Creator

Understanding cash flow, controlling debt, and saving and investing for the future are the three basic principles of my lectures to young people. 

Teach children about money

November 20, 2017

This week’s theme is one I could spend a lot of time talking about because it’s so important: Teaching children about money.

A new financial adventure: Managing money in college or university

November 13, 2017

There are certain key points in everyone’s lives when financial literacy is more important than ever. This week’s theme is all about that exciting moment when young people step out on their own, into the world of post-secondary education. 

Guest blog post: Financial Literacy for Amateur Athletes

November 10, 2017

By Alexandre Bilodeau, two-time olympic gold medalist for Canada

Financial literacy is a key life skill that you need in order to succeed, and nobody knows this better than aspiring amateur athletes. There are three phases to an athlete’s career in sport, and each phase involves a different financial reality, and requires different financial skills. 

Tools to help you live within your means

November 6, 2017

Welcome to week 2 of Financial Literacy Month! This week’s sub-theme is “Live within your means.” This is a foundational habit that can help you achieve financial well-being.

Achieve financial well-being through workplace financial literacy!

November 1, 2017

Welcome to the first week of Financial Literacy Month! Our theme for this week is: Achieve financial well-being. 

 

Take charge of your finances during Financial Literacy Month!

October 20, 2017

Financial Literacy Month  is fast approaching! Starting November 1st, an exciting and varied roster of events and activities hosted by Canadian organizations will roll out across the country, all designed to raise awareness about and strengthen financial literacy.

 

The Power of Play: making financial education fun!

October 6, 2017

I recently had a chance to speak at the national conference of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs in London, Ontario. The theme of the conference was “The Power of Play.”

Canada 150 and financial literacy

June 29, 2017

As we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year, I’m thinking about the history and evolution of financial services in Canada. 

Among global peers, Canadian students are top performers in financial literacy

May 24, 2017

I have some great news to share this week: when it comes to financial literacy, Canadian youth are among the best in the world. That encouraging finding is the result of the first-ever Canadian participation in a global survey of financial literacy among 15-year-olds.

Smarter and more effective financial literacy: A new evaluation tool for FinLit programs

May 17, 2017

Research is the first step in developing a good financial literacy program, and evaluation is critical in order to refine it. Today I want to talk about a new easy-to-use online tool that will allow financial literacy practitioners to measure how well their programs are performing. 

Building savings, paying down debt and choosing the right financial products for retirement

May 10, 2017

Here, I will talk about a new FCAC research report which looks at the importance of building savings, paying down debt, and choosing the right financial products, particularly in the years leading up to and during retirement.

It pays to know—reducing financial stress

May 4, 2017

This is Mental Health Week in Canada, an excellent opportunity for us to reflect on, learn about and discuss issues related to mental health. One such issue is financial stress. According to the 2014 Sun Life Canadian Health Index, the top three reasons for stress are finances—specifically, personal or household finances, trying to maintain a budget and unexpected expenses.

A new mobile app to encourage budgeting

May 4, 2017

Recently, I wrote about the National Research Plan. In that blog post, I explained the importance of research in developing financial literacy programs, tools, and information campaigns for consumers, and I outlined the plan’s four key priorities.

The National Research Plan for Financial Literacy 2016-2018

April 26, 2017

Research is central to the work of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). It helps to identify gaps in financial literacy levels across the country and to pinpoint where FCAC and its partners should direct their resources to help strengthen Canadians’ financial knowledge, skills, and confidence.

Helping employees learn about money benefits everyone

April 4, 2017

As Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader, my goal is to help Canadians acquire the knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage their money and debt wisely, plan and save, and protect themselves from fraud and financial abuse. It’s important that individuals learn to budget, save, and plan for their future through learning about tools, techniques and products available to help them reach their financial goals.

March is Fraud Prevention Month – Protect Yourself!

March 13, 2017

Many of us are concerned about the risk of cybercrime and the growing need for consumers to be extra vigilant.

We are constantly on our phones and online, and fraudsters are always looking for new ways to lure people into sharing personal information so that they can get access to their accounts.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and a good time to educate yourself and reduce the chances of being a victim of financial scams.

Empowering women to strengthen their financial literacy

March 7, 2017

March 8th is International Women’s Day, which is a good time to empower women to improve their financial literacy and wellbeing.

Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report ranking countries on their financial literacy levels. Canada tied Norway for third place out of 29 countries, behind France and Finland. It was the first time Canada was included in the survey and I was very pleased with the results. But it also revealed gaps, including a gender gap.

Tools to help you manage money and debt wisely

February 27, 2017

Managing our money is so important, yet it’s not often at the top of people’s to-do list.

In fact, only 21% of Canadians said focusing on their financial goals was their main resolution for 2017, compared to 33% who listed fitness and nutrition, according to a recent survey by Ipsos.

At the same time, research tells us that Canadians rank money as the source of their greatest stress – more so than work, health, or family obligations. And we know that financial stress affects our mental and physical health.

New members of the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy​

February 22, 2017

I am excited to announce the 15 new members of our National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy. The new members are:

  • Camille Beaudoin, Autorité des marchés financiers
  • Harold Calla, First Nations Financial Management Board
  • Jeff Cates, Intuit Canada
  • Terry Campbell, Canadian Bankers Association
  • Martha Durdin, Canadian Credit Union Association
  • Terry Goodtrack, AFOA Canada (formerly Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Canada)
  • Greg Pollock, Advocis
  • Darren Hill, Junior Achievement of Saskatchewan
  • Michel Leduc, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
  • Elizabeth Mulholland, Prosper Canada
  • Andrew Nicholson, Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick 
  • Kelly Stone, Canadian Association of Family Resources Programs
  • Frank Swedlove, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association
  • Joy Thomas, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
  • Patricia White, Credit Counselling Canada

Set your financial goals for the New Year!

December 15, 2016

The holidays are around the corner, and that means many of us will start thinking about our New Year’s resolutions soon. Lots of Canadians will make plans to eat healthier, exercise more, or spend more time with family.  

It’s important to have healthy habits, and our financial well-being is a big part of that.

Setting financial goals is a great way to get yourself on track. The New Year is a perfect time to get started. In January, after the holiday rush is over, you can take the time to consider your financial priorities and, most importantly, do something practical to start 2017 on a good financial footing.

Learn about money all year long

December 5, 2016

Last month, my team and I crossed the country from east to west marking Financial Literacy Month (FLM). I saw tremendous enthusiasm in communities across Canada!

I was also reminded how important financial literacy is, not just during FLM, but all year long.

During November, I met young people in Toronto and Kingston who want to get on a good financial path themselves but also help their peers through their own conferences and websites, which is tremendous. I talked to seniors and people heading towards retirement. I spoke with financial professionals, teachers, accountants, politicians and non-profit organizations about how we can all help give Canadians the knowledge, skills and confidence to make sound financial decisions.

Review your finances

November 28, 2016

Financial literacy is about lifelong learning. Gain the knowledge, skills and confidence you need at every stage of life in order to make responsible financial decisions.

Make a habit of reviewing your personal finances and looking at your budget and savings plan on a regular basis. Life is always changing and it’s good to be prepared for whatever happens.

Having a savings plan

November 21, 2016

Canadians aren’t saving enough.

That’s unfortunate because having money put aside for a “rainy day” fund, a child’s education or retirement can make the difference between feeling stressed and being in control of your financial situation.

And saving can help you avoid unwanted debt when you have unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or leaking roof.

We know money is the biggest cause of stress.

Know your rights and responsibilities

November 14, 2016

We’re lucky in Canada to have protections in place for consumers of financial products and services. Financial institutions have an obligation to provide you with key information about mortgages, loans, lines of credit, and credit cards in clear language.

And as consumers, you have certain responsibilities. Make sure to inform yourself of rates, terms, and penalties associated with financial products and services. That means reading all of your financial agreements and disclosures thoroughly and asking questions if you are unclear.

Live within your means

November 7, 2016

Financial literacy is all about getting back to basics. One way to do that is to “live within your means”. In other words, earn more than you spend so you have money to set aside as emergency savings and longer term saving goals, such as retirement savings.

As I mentioned in last week’s post the first step is having a budget. Then you can start to manage your money and your debt. Getting your debt under control means less stress!

Canadians are burdened with historically high levels of household debt, according to Statistics Canada. Simply put, too many people are spending more than they earn. They are saving less and not saving for retirement. At the same time, people are living longer.

Why you should make a budget

November 1, 2016

As Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader, people often ask me what they can do to improve their financial situation. I encourage everyone to make a budget.

A budget is a tool with huge benefits. It helps you understand where your money is coming from and where it’s going. It helps you make financial decisions. It allows you to change your spending habits. It’s a tool that can help you be prepared when unexpected, and unwelcome, financial situations occur.

Financial Literacy Month is around the corner!

October 25, 2016

I am very excited to launch our new blog today, just a few days before the start of Financial Literacy Month (November)!

As Financial Literacy Leader, I speak to a lot of Canadians across the country and I know many of you want to improve your financial situation.

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