November is Financial Literacy Month and many organizations across Canada are attempting to increase awareness around the importance of talking about money. Together, we need to break the myth that it is not polite to talk about money. Not only is it important to talk about, but it is critical for your financial and social well being that you reflect on your relationship to money, examine it and look at how your values impact your spending and saving habits.
Exciting things happened this month in Edmonton. Organizations across the city hosted financial information sessions. City of Edmonton, United Way and the University of Alberta hosted a Financial Information Fair, helping hundreds of student to access resources and information to keep more money in their pockets.
The Empower U matched savings program for woman continued to run their financial literacy groups throughout the city. And many more women completed the program, purchasing valuable assets for themselves and their families.
Last week a report came out called Achieving the Promise – Ending Poverty in Alberta www.edmontonsocialplanning.ca . It reminded me that women are over represented in poverty statistics. They are more likely than men to be poor because they are more likely to be caregivers to children and seniors. They have higher representation in the low wage earner category, and only earn 68.1 percent of what men earn in Alberta, full–year, full-time (Edmonton Social Planning Council, 2012). It also reminded me that when women experience poverty so do their families and children. Likewise, when women move up the economic ladder so do their families and children, making programs like Empower U even more important.
Even when statistics and research demonstrate that savings and asset programs like Empower U are important. What is even more significant to me is hearing from the participants themselves speak about the difference Empower U is making for them and their family’s lives.
I am so proud of the great work being done in the community and the organizations that are providing financial literacy groups and resources. For more information on Empower U, check out empoweru.ca.
There are also free tools and resources available online. Check out these websites!
- Financial Consumer Agency of Canada FCAC http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/index-eng.asp,
- SEDI (Social Enterprise Development Innovations) – Tool Kits http://www.sedi.org/html/resources/toolkits.asp
- CCFL (Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy) www.theccfl.ca
- The Mint http://themint.org/
- Hands on Banking http://www.handsonbanking.org/
- Finance in the Classroom http://financeintheclassroom.org/