Take control of your finances

November 26, 2018

By Jane Rooney, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader

As we near the end of Financial Literacy Month, I encourage you to jump into the driver’s seat and take control of your finances! By taking some concrete steps, you can reduce your financial stress and improve your financial well-being.

I talk a lot about making a budget as a good first step, but you can also start with a financial goal - for example, paying off your credit card or saving for school. When you work towards a goal, however big or small, it can motivate you to stay on track. 

Whatever goal you have in mind, a great way to get started is by using FCAC’s online Financial Goal Calculator. When you first open this calculator, it gives the option of making a plan to get out of debt or to set a savings goal.  The calculator then leads you through the steps to create a timeline and a plan for reaching your target.

Once you’ve created your plan in the calculator, it can be helpful to then use it to create a budget, or to update your existing one. Our online Budget Calculator can help you establish how your financial goal fits into your overall budget. Once you have a budget, take the time to review it regularly. By sticking to your budget, you should reach your financial goal on time, and as planned!

Another important concrete step is to make sure you put money aside each month for emergencies, even if it’s a small amount. Our research shows that people who actively save are less stressed about their finances. In fact, the preliminary results of FCAC’s recent international survey show that the most important behaviour, which has the biggest impact on people’s financial well-being, is being an active saver. An emergency savings fund can increase your financial well-being by covering the cost of unexpected expenses, which always crop up at the worst times. This will help you avoid taking on more debt.

Budgeting, setting financial goals and creating an emergency savings fund are three concrete steps you can take today to invest in your financial well-being.   

In conclusion, I would like to thank the hundreds of organizations and stakeholders who created or took part in activities and events across the country during this year’s Financial Literacy Month. And as always, thank you to those people, organizations and networks who work hard year-round to strengthen the financial literacy of all Canadians. 

Financial literacy is a collective responsibility, and we all have a role to play. So I encourage you to continue to invest in your financial well-being as well as the financial well-being of others!  

 

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