Did you know that since 2011 every November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada? In the mid-1990s, the Canadian government set in motion an extensive period of review and public consultations that resulted in a series of reforms to Canada’s financial sector and the creation of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) in 2001. The goal of the FCAC is to protect and educate consumers of financial services.
Count me in, Canada
This year, the aim of the 5th Financial Literacy Month (FLM) was to rally organizations and individuals across Canada to support the National Strategy for Financial Literacy – Count me in, Canada.
Saving for your education. Buying your first house. Managing your credit. Planning your retirement. When you think about it, these are all life skills that empower you as a consumer. They make up your financial literacy toolbox.
National Strategy for Financial Literacy
Launched in June 2015, the strategy’s three goals are to help Canadians:
- manage money and debt wisely
- plan and save for the future
- prevent and protect against fraud and financial abuse.
Talk with Our Kids About Money (TWOKAM)
While the FLM is aimed at adults, the CFEE (Canadian Foundation for Economic Education) runs a program called Talk With Our Kids About Money (TWOKAM), with the third Wednesday in April being TWOKAM Day (see the GOAL Post article dated June 2014).
The CFEE collaborates with the FCAC to avoid duplication of services. The TWOKAM website offers various resources and a teacher’s guide.
“We hope every Grade 7 teacher in participating schools will teach a lesson, in their subject area, about money. But even one teacher can make a difference.”
Making teachers and adults comfortable talking about money
“We realized that we need to start discussing money-related issues with teachers and parents,” says Brian Smith, Vice President of Québec Operations for CFEE, “so that they can become comfortable talking about money. For many people, talking about money is a taboo subject.”
The CFEE provides fun, interactive lesson plans for teachers and ideas for parents. Users are required to log in, Smith says, “for tracking who is using the site, and communications.” But all resources are free of charge. Although TWOKAM is branded by BMO, the financial institution does not receive or have access to user data, so they cannot solicit people who log in.
FLM is interactive on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, and anyone can join. Visitors to the FLM website will also find the Canadian Financial Literacy Database, a “one-stop source for information on budgeting, saving, investing, fraud prevention and more.”
Save the Date: April 20, 2016
Be ready for the next Talk With Our Kids About Money Day on April 20th. Browse the “A-Z Ideas, Activities, and Resources” including “Tips & Suggestions” and read the “Stories” from previous years’ participating schools.
Financial literacy self-assessment quiz
Are you ready to take the Financial literacy self-assessment quiz? Measure your financial skills and knowledge and find relevant resources to improve the management of your personal finances.