Canada’s financial literacy blog

From Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

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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