November is Financial Literacy Month and this year’s theme is “Take Charge of Your Finances.” The goal of Financial Literacy Month is to encourage Canadians to take control of their financial well-being by making a budget, having a savings plan and debt reduction plan, and understanding their financial rights and responsibilities.
Money Matters, ABC Life Literacy Canada’s suite of money management workshops and online tools are designed to do exactly that. Money Matters is a free introductory financial literacy program for adults that helps learners take control of their finances and make smarter decisions about spending and saving.
According to the Financial Planning Standards Council, four in 10 Canadians report that money is a daily concern, and a third of low-income Canadians report worrying about money almost constantly. Additionally, only 46 per cent have a budget and more than 60 per cent are unsure how much money they’ll need to retire, according to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
“It’s no secret that when it comes to money, Canadians of all backgrounds can feel overwhelmed, and as a result some ignore their financial situation,” said Mack Rogers, Executive Director of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “Financial literacy has only just begun to find its way into classrooms across the country, but we are still a long way away from fully educating our citizens on how to manage their finances. Our goal at is to equip Canadians with the skills and confidence to take control of their finances so they can thrive at home, at work and in their communities.”
Canadians can access the Money Matters program online at online.abcmoneymatters.ca and work on either of the two free modules: Spending Plans or Banking and Saving in Canada. In the Spending Plans course, users will learn ways to get the most out of their money in order to better meet their needs and goals, such as saving for a child’s education. In the Banking and Savings in Canada course, users will learn about Canadian financial institutions and their offerings. While the Banking and Savings in Canada course is aimed at newcomers, anyone can complete the course to learn more about different saving opportunities and services in Canada.
Each course is written using clear language principles for adults with lower literacy skills and can be completed on one’s own time.
In addition to the online courses, Money Matters is also available to organizations in workshop format. Literacy groups, schools, libraries and workplaces, among others, can sign up to host free workshops using one of four workbooks as a topic: Spending Plans, Banking Basics; Borrowing Money; and RESPs and Other Ways to Save.
Host organizations can choose to run workshops around any or all of the four topics. Workshops can be delivered by organizations themselves, or in some instances, TD volunteers are available to help facilitate the sessions. TD Bank Group, through its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, is the founding sponsor of Money Matters and has helped adults across the country grow their money management skills, thanks to the TD employees who have volunteered with the program.
Since the beginning of the program in 2011, over 2,200 workshops have been delivered across Canada reaching more than 35,500 learners.
To find out more about Money Matters, to sign up to host a workshop in your community, or to access free resources, visit ABCMoneyMatters.ca.