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November 1, 2016 marks the beginning of this year’s Financial Literacy Month (FLM) in Canada. Launched in 2011 by the Financial Literacy Action Group, FLM was created to encourage and facilitate discussions among Canadian individuals and organizations about the importance of financial literacy and financial well-being.
Financial literacy refers to understanding of how money works (i.e. how it is earned, managed, invested) and having appropriate knowledge, skills and confidence to be a responsible agent in financial decisions. Financial literacy and knowledge is essential for Financial Services professionals, but it is just as important for the organizations and individuals.
“People often don’t understand money: they may know a lot of things about doing business or finding a job, but they often don’t understand how to manage their personal finances,” shares Bobby Ning, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Financial Literacy Counsel Inc. “I believe it is very important to promote Financial Literacy programs.”
This year’s Financial Literacy month focuses on empowering Canadians to discuss and pursue several important goals:
The theme of the year is “Managing money and debt wisely: It pays to know!” This year’s theme reflects the importance of developing appropriate financial literacy skills at different stages of life, as different life demands require different knowledge and skills. Another focus of this year’s FLM is to teach people how to manage their money and debt to ensure they make responsible financial decisions and investments.
“Finances can get really overwhelming for people, which is why it is important to break them into smaller components, simple building blocks,” reminds us Bobby Ning.
“This way people don’t need to deal with everything at once, and can take it one issue at a time.”
This year, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) suggested a breakdown of several smaller components to focus on throughout the month:
Take part in this year’s Financial Literacy Month! November is a great time to budget, especially since it’s the time right before the holidays.
If you have never done that before, try talking to a Financial Adviser.
“Our focus is to serve you, so you can serve others,” says Bobby Ning. “If people can have financial freedom because of what we can teach them, then that means they can be more present in their work or with the people that they’re close to.”
You can also join the conversation about Financial Literacy on social media by following or sharing the hashtags #FLM2016 and #ItPaysToKnow, or take advantage of multiple Financial Literacy events by looking at the Canadian Financial Literacy Database.
And of course, our team here at Ashton will continue sharing tips and expertise from our Financial Services professionals to help you manage and take control of your finances! After all, as Bobby notes, “when you have peace of mind with your finances, you feel more free” – and this is what the goal of Financial Literacy Month is.