Did you know that November is “financial literacy month”? Throughout the month, an array of financial, government and corporate sponsors stage events devoted to improving financial literacy amongst individuals, families, and communities throughout Canada.
When we were growing up, we were taught basic money management skills including the simplest rule of never spending more than you earn. We also somehow got drilled into saving 10% of income if possible. It is therefore encouraging to know statistics show that new immigrants and seniors are the two groups that successfully track what and how they spend and have a better handle on their plastic cards.
As a new immigrant, the first thing you learn about money is Credit Record/Score. A credit record follows you everywhere you go; applying for credit cards, loans to buy homes, cars, join an academic institution and even to pay for utility or phone connection. One way or another, someone will check your credit record.
It is therefore important to be equipped with basic money management skills. That is why for this month, wakenyacanada.com will bring you a series of short articles related to money management.
Money Management 1
Money – What is it?
Money isn’t just about goods and services. Money influences how we feel about ourselves and other people. More money is not the answer, gaining control is.
Control – How do we get it?
Managing money is a skill. Like most skills, it requires practice. Without this skill, it’s likely you will experience financial stress – running out of money regularly, feeling deprived or struggling to pay bills. Even those who make lots of money can experience problems without a healthy respect for their finances.
There are people who HAVE and people who DO NOT HAVE, and it has little to do with the amount they earn. Some have difficulty getting by with a good salary, while others who earn less seem to have it “together”. Herein lies the difference between those who have learned good money management skills and those who have not.
A good financial plan acts as a guide for you. It doesn’t need to be down to the penny. It needs to be easy to understand and it should require a minimum amount of time and effort. It is a reflection of your needs and wants, your values and your goals. It doesn’t determine who you are but reflects that special unique person that is you.
A good plan is based on current income and expenses. It allows for future possibilities and probability. It must be flexible, allowing you to adjust it as things around you change. The plan must also provide for pleasure as well as necessities.
A plan is not a magic genie to grant your every wish. It will promote good spending and saving habits and improve your financial health. It is your most valuable financial resource.
Source: Credit Canada Debt Solutions, a non-profit charitable organization.