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Mastering financial literacy: how knowledgeable are you?

Education community members tell us consistently how important literacy – being able to read and write – is today. And how being financially literate is equally important, because it impacts almost everything in our lives, from supporting ourselves and our families, to providing an education for our children and students, and for ensuring a comfortable old age.

The Canadian government considers financially literacy to be critical in supporting the creation of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.  That’s why it’s now part of the Ontario Curriculum.

At Educators Financial Group, we were developed to be the education community’s financial specialist, and helping you become more financially literate is part of our mandate.  We’re here for you – whether that means showing you how to develop a budget, how to minimize gratuity taxes, or how to alleviate the income pinch from a deferred salary plan.

Learning (and teaching!) to manage money and debt wisely.

The Canadian government says that the first part of becoming financially literate is learning to manage money and debt wisely. Fortunately for most of us, this doesn’t entail memorizing obscure terminology and understanding mathematical formulae.  It’s about taking the time and effort to understand how much you make, your priorities, where the money goes … and making wise choices.  An Educators financial advisor is always available to discuss how to establish a budget you can work with to meet your goals.  And, we offer several online tools to help you, such as how to set up a budget.

We’ll talk to you about the best, least expensive way to borrow (Credit card? Line of credit?).

When you’re building a home and a family, it’s normal to have some debt. (It can take years to pay off your student loans, alone!) Many education members are pleased to discover that there are ways to reduce the cost of debt, like consolidating debt with a low-cost line of credit. An Educators line of credit can save you hundreds of dollars a month.

Educators offers many resources to help you, including The Learning Centre, which we’ve developed specifically for the education community. Think of it as your online resource area, full of free tools, tips and more that will help you increase your financial literacy and get a better hold of your money, so you can live the lifestyle you want. In addition to the various webinars and articles you’ll find on a range of topics, you can utilize The Learning Centre for our handy online calculators to figure out your net worth, plan for retirement, and more.

We also understand that the educators like you are very busy, which is why, if you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to sign-up for eNews for tips, updates and resources on financial matters that affect members of the education community, like you.

As educators, you can also play a part in educating your students to become financially literate. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers interesting and involving programs to engage your students about money, such as “The City” A Financial Life Skills Resource (a joint initiative of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and the British Columbia Securities Commission).

We’ll be posting new articles and information throughout November on other aspects of financial literacy. Watch for them! In the meantime, want to check how much you’ve improved your financial literacy so far this month? Take the quiz now!

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