FCAC – OECD Conference on Financial Literacy – Day One.

Brian Denysuik is attending the FCAC OECD Conference on Financial Literacy.

Here is a summary of what he’s learned from Day One.

We spent the day hearing update on the current state of financial literacy in Canada with different perspectives from around the world. The workshops were very educational and covered some interesting ways on how social media and technology is being reviewed as delivery channels.

Education in the school systems is going to be a very important delivery channel as the provinces role out their models. The studies on gender and financial education were a key interest as they compared where each gender believes they are at with understanding. Alison Griffiths, Toronto Journalist, financial author and TV host of Maxed Out concluded the day with an energetic presentation.

Looking forward to another day, stay tuned.

Getting Your Financial Life in Order

Just as spring is often the time that we clean-out and reorganize our homes, it is a good time to bring some order to our financial lives as well. We’ve put together a few tips to help you do just that.

1. Balance your checkbook. For some people, this may be a ‘duh’ statement, but for others it is actually a big step. If you have not been balancing your checkbook with your monthly bank statement each month, now is the time to start. Knowing that the balance in your checkbook is accurate can relieve a lot of stress and save you plenty of money in overdraft fees. If you’re having trouble getting it balanced, take it into your bank and ask them for help. They can help you get to a good clean starting place for the spring.

2. Write out a monthly budget. It doesn’t have to be overly detailed, just start by listing out all your monthly bills and the average amounts due each month. Then add in budget amounts for groceries, fuel for your vehicles and other expenditures you make that do not come to you in bill form, like entertainment, giving and clothing. Schedule when each bill will be paid on a calendar, based on its due date and when your income comes in.

3. Make an appointment for credit counseling. There are experts available to help you sort through your finances and give you the advice you need. Pick up the phone and make an appointment with one of our credit counselors.

4. Open a savings account. Even if you don’t have much to put into it, open a savings account and begin the process. Determine an amount to deposit into it each week or each month. Perhaps you’ll want to set aside a few dollars from each pay check, or maybe you’ll do the ‘save my change’ game and deposit your extra change each week. No matter how small it is, begin the process of building a savings account for yourself.

These are just four simple steps to help get your financial life in order and heading in the right direction. Spring is as good a time as any to start fresh.