In 2012, the Parliament of Canada proclaimed each November as Financial Literacy Month (FLM), to promote financial literacy for Canadians of all ages and help them learn how to manage their personal finances.

This year’s theme is “Managing money and debt wisely: It pays to know!”.

Cropped view of a senior woman receiving help with her finances from her granddaughter

Follow these basic money management practices week by week, and get a better sense of your finances and how to manage them.

1 – Start with a budget

The most powerful tool in your financial toolkit is a budget that helps you manage your money. It lists your income and expenses, giving you a snapshot of your financial situation.

2 – Live within your means

After you establish a budget, it’s time to manage your money and your debt. One way to do it is by getting back to basics and by living within your means. In other words, lower your expenses so that you have money to save for emergencies and for longer term goals, such as retirement savings.

3 – Know your rights and responsibilities

As a consumer, you have to know your rights but also your responsibilities. Make sure to inform yourself of rates, terms, and penalties associated with financial products and services. Some examples of your responsibilities are: do not share your personal information and learn about the fees for cash advances on your credit card.

4 – Have a savings plan

You can avoid financial stress if you save up for emergencies. Your goal should be to save enough money to cover at least 3 months of living expenses.

5 – Review your finances

It’s important that you pay attention to your finances as you are ultimately responsible for your financial security.

For most Canadians, the purchase of a house is the most important financial decision of their life.

Contact me if you have any mortgage questions. It would be a pleasure to assist you or any one of your friends or family members!