November is Financial Literacy Month

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The following article by Robert W. Powell, CPA CA CIRP LIT, was published in the October 2017 issue of the District News.

I want to take the opportunity to tell you about Financial Literacy Month (“FLM”).  FLM started in 2011 and continues to grow each year with significant support of the Federal and Provincial Governments and private and non-profit enterprises. According to the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (“FCAC”), FLM is a coordinated effort “to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians and empower them to manage money and debt wisely, save for the future and understand their financial rights and responsibilities”.  

The theme of this year’s FLM is “Take charge of your finances: It pays to know!” and each week of November has a sub-theme:  Week 1 (Nov 1-4) – Achieve financial well-being; Week 2 (Nov 5-11) – Live within your means; Week 3 (Nov 12-18) – Manage money for student life; Week 4 (Nov 19-25) – Teach children about money and, Week 5 (Nov 26-30) – Know your financial rights and responsibilities.  We will publish short articles in support of these sub-themes at the beginning of each of those weeks on our blog at www.MaritimeTrustee.ca.

While there will be significant focus on financial literacy during November, financial literacy is something that needs constant attention.  While not the entire cure, I believe that improved financial literacy would help reduce poverty, improve the ability of individuals and families to provide adequately for themselves and reduce the burden on social systems.  These are only some of the benefits of improved financial literacy.  It will take sustained efforts over many years to improve financial literacy and I hope that we can stick to the stated goal of FLM in our increasingly short-sighted world.  It would also be very helpful if our education systems made financial literacy a core objective.

You won’t get any complements from me about how the Federal and Provincial Governments manage their own finances with our money but, I do have to complement both the Fed’s and the Province of New Brunswick on their efforts to provide good financial literacy advice and resources to Canadian consumers.  If you are interested in financial literacy and looking for resources, you should check-out the FCAC website (type “FCAC” into your web browser) and The Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick website (type “FCNB” into your browser).

At my office, being a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, we see the consequences of poor financial literacy on a daily basis.  As I have said in previous articles, there are many causes for financial difficulty, however, I know that strong financial literacy skills can help people identify and deal with negative impacts on their finances caused by other factors.  Take the opportunity to surf the two websites I have mentioned so you know what resources are there to use now or when you need them.

Powell Associates Ltd. is a licensed insolvency trustee focused on providing debt settlement, proposal and bankruptcy solutions for individuals and businesses.  We offer free consultations to review your personal financial situation and practical debt resolution options.  Contact us to discuss your situation over the phone or book an appointment to meet us face-to-face in Saint John, Moncton, FrederictonCharlottetown or Dartmouth – it’s your choice.