Financial Literacy Month
Managing Your Money in a Changing World
November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada. The theme this year is “Managing Your Money in a Changing World”. How we use money is increasingly complex and constantly changing. It is important to check in on your financial health, particularly managing and paying down debt. We learn about money in so many ways and get contradictory information and messages from many sources. This impacts how we use money – a tool that is used in our daily lives. It also often makes us scared or embarrassed to talk about money even in the best of times.
“I remember in college, credit card companies throwing credit at us and we used credit for everything, not realizing how much debt was being wracked up.” Caroline Araujo Abbotts, Financial Literacy Program Coordinator relayed. “Understanding how credit works, how money works, how banks work, how any of it works is a lot for any one person.”
The United Way Bruce Grey’s Financial Literacy Program focuses on providing comprehensive, realistic, and relevant information to people working through financial issues. More Canadians are carrying higher debt loads and we can see this is the case for people using the Financial Literacy Program. In 2023, over 35% of the clients using the program came for help with dealing with debt. This is up from 33% in 2022 and 26% in 2021. For people living with a low income, the burden of debt is significant. Imagine paying over 20% of your income towards interest payments. That is money you don’t have for your monthly living expenses. With increasing prices, it is becoming more and more difficult to pay for basic living expenses without using debt. There are strategies and options for dealing with debt.
Since 2021, over 800 people in Bruce and Grey counties have used the Financial Literacy Program.
“We launched our Financial Literacy program in 2014, with the help of an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, to empower people to have knowledge and control over their finances. Too often low-income people are shamed and simply told to “budget better” but you cannot budget your way out of poverty. Ensuring people knew their rights and obligations as well as gaining access to additional resources is poverty reduction.” Francesca Dobbyn, Executive Director of United Way Bruce Grey.
If you or someone you know could use the support of the Financial Literacy Program, please contact Caroline through email at email@example.com or call 519-378-4778. For helpful information and advice about finances, visit the Financial Fridays page on the United Way’s website, www.FinancialFridays.ca.
The program is 100% donor-supported. If you’re able to contribute, please do so by visiting www.DonateToday.ca and select the Financial Literacy button.