It's Financial Literacy Month: Here's how to take advantage of it

November is sandwiched between two months of unadulterated excess -- October's Halloween junk food fest and December's holiday shopping spree. That's all the more reason for this month to be a time for quiet reflection and somber thought.

No wonder then that Credit Counselling Canada has named November Canada's first Financial Literacy Month. In fact, Credit Counselling Canada joins many other non-profit organizations across the country in hosting events to raise awareness around the importance of making responsible financial decisions.

financial-literacy

Here are the top five things you need to know about Financial Literacy Month, according to Patricia White, executive director of Credit Counselling Canada.

1. Financial Literacy Month is a team effort.
The event is organized by the Financial Literacy Action Group (FLAG), a coalition of seven non-profit organizations, working in collaboration with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). "This is the first Financial Literacy Month in Canada and it is long past time that all the organizations involved in financial education got together to bring attention to the issue," says White. "Credit Counselling Canada is one of many national organizations that are involved in financial literacy on a daily basis."

2. November is jam-packed with activities, events and initiatives held in communities, schools and workplaces across Canada.
For example, says White, "Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada has been reading the book 'My Rows and Piles of Coins' to grade four students; Credit Counselling Services of Newfoundland and Labrador is hosting a build a piggybank-making contest for kindergarten to grade two students; Money Mentors in Alberta is providing community sessions on 'Tackle Debt' in six cities in the province; and Credit Counselling Society is hosting a webinar for consumers entitled 'Dealing with Reduced Income.'"

3. Young students stand to gain the most from November's Financial Literacy focus.
Young students can gain an appreciation for saving for future purchases and an understanding of how to manage their money,” says White. “If this happens at a young age, they will be better equipped to manage their income and expenses as they get older.”

4. Whether you’re just starting kindergarten or on the brink of retirement, there’s always room to improve your financial life.
It is never too late to improve your competence with personal finances,” says White. “No matter if it’s learning how to save or what investment strategy to take, everyone needs to be able to make informed financial decisions with confidence.”

5. This month, Facebook isn’t just for posting party pictures.
To support Financial Literacy Month, FLAG and FCAC have launched a new website to help inform Canadians about the multiple programs and services offered by many organizations across the country: financialliteracymonth.ca also contains links to the Financial Literacy Month Facebook page and LinkedIn group.

"Young students can gain an appreciation for saving for future purchases and an understanding of how to manage their money," says White. "If this happens at a young age, they will be better equipped to manage their income and expenses as they get older."

See related: Saving for your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond; Canada's best money savvy mommy bloggers

Published November 16, 2011

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