CREATiveFund$ is a resource developed for students who want to learn more about managing their money. It is supported by the Financial Aid & Awards office. Every month on this website, look for articles, news and tools to help you become financially successful!
Financial Literacy: Why You Should Care
Written by Diana Bahr
With November declared financial literacy month by the Financial Literacy Action Group, there’s been a lot in the news lately about the state of Canadians’ financial health. As we gear up to spend an average $674 on gifts this holiday season, we’re also facing increasing household debt: for every $1 we earn, we’ve spent $1.63. And for students: the average graduate is preparing to repay $28,000 in student loans over the next 14 years.
What is financial literacy?
Although education and awareness are not the only answers to the problems we have with money, they do play a part. In response, the government formed The Task Force on Financial Literacy with a mission to strengthen the financial know-how of Canadians. Through its member expertise and public consultations, the task force’s report defined financial literacy as “having the skills, knowledge and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.”
Why should you care?
Your own financial literacy (or lack thereof) tends to become important to you on a need-to-know basis. It depends on your stage in life and the types of decisions you are making.
As a student, you may be ‘illiterate’ in insurance because you don’t care about what whole or term-life policy you’ll need in the future. You do need to know how to get your student loan today and manage your money in a way that doesn’t leave you stressed out at the end of the semester. After graduation, your literacy may have advanced beyond cash flow, but now you want to save for a house and need to learn how to access your RRSPs for a first time home buyers’ loan.
Although it’s always advisable to look ahead, the reality is often your financial skills, knowledge and confidence develop when you are forced to make them a priority.
So what do you need to know?
How literate are you?
For OCAD U students, try How Financially Fit Are You? on pages 2-3 of Do What You Love: Financial Planning for Artists and Designers.
In which areas do you want to learn more?
What can you do?
Write down the topics you want to learn more about, choose one priority for this month and take action:
- Attend a workshop during Financial Literacy Month or visit CREATiveFund$ Info Sessions for an upcoming lineup of events
- Speak to a financial aid officer in Financial Aid & Awards
- Complete a worksheet in Do What You Love: Financial Planning for Artists and Designers (determine where you stand financially, create a budget, or commit to reducing your debt)
- Watch Til Debt Do Us Part
- Visit a financial planner
- Connect and be inspired by someone you know who is great with money. What are they doing right? Copy them!
- Get financial information from any of these top-rated websites
Financial literacy alone will not solve Canadians’ issues with money. In addition to having skills, knowledge and confidence, we need to learn what it means to have ‘enough.’ We need to appreciate the benefits of delaying our gratification. And we need to exercise our capacity for plain ol’ stick-to-it-iveness. Literacy is only the beginning…
- August & September: Goal-Setting
- October: Budgeting
- November: Saving
- December/January: Down with Debt!
- February: Students & Taxes
- March: How Artists and Designers Already Think Like Entrepreneurs
- What's your best financial tip? We want to hear from you! If you have topics you'd like to see here, tips to post or questions to ask, send us an email.
- Follow us on Twitter for financial tips: FinAidOCAD.
Last Modified:11/21/2012 4:18:23 PM