FLM 2017: 5 Important (And Easy) Ways to Celebrate FLMNov 07, 2017
Have you heard? November is Financial Literacy Month (FLM) in Canada. Designed to encourage Canadians to focus on their financial health, it’s a great time to learn more about managing your money and your debt. Here are five important (and easy) things you can do to celebrate FLM:
- Take stock of your debt
Although consumer debt is common, many Canadians may not be aware just how much debt they actually owe. Recent statistics put the average family’s debt load at $22,022, but yours may be much less (or much more).
If you’re not sure of the full extent of your debt, use FLM as inspiration to sit down and make a list of all your debts. Next step: use an online debt calculator to figure out how long it will take you to pay off your debt and how much interest you’ll pay in the process.
- Create a budget
One of the best ways to manage money and avoid unnecessary debt is to use a personal budget to plan your expenses and track your spending. Choose whatever budgeting method works best for you. Here are two options:
Download an online budget spreadsheet like this one from JessicaMoorhouse.com.
If you’re digitally inclined, try an app. Here are 10 of the best budget apps, according to EverythingZoomer.com.
- Teach your kids
To ensure your kids are well equipped to handle their personal finances in the future, start teaching them basic money management skills as early as possible.
Golden Girl Finance provides great guidelines for age-appropriate money lessons — starting at “ages 5 years & under” all the way to “ages 15+”.
- Increase your knowledge
It’s also important to expand your own knowledge of the best way to manage your money and deal with your debt load. If debt is a concern for you, researching your debt relief options is a good starting point.
The Managing Debt page on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) website has links to info about creating a debt repayment plan, getting help from a debt relief professional, choosing debt relief options and more.
- Set a goal
Now is a great time to set a financial goal for 2018. Maybe you’d like to reduce your debt load, or set aside more money for emergency savings. Putting a financial goal down in writing can make it seem more real, and even make you feel more accountable or inspired to make that goal a reality.
For tips on staying motivated to achieve your financial goals, check out personal finance blogger Krystal Yee’s website Give Me Back My Five Bucks.