Don’t follow feds into red

How’s your financial literacy? A task force will come up with recommendations for a national strategyto help Canadians brush up on their financial management skills, or“financial literacy.” <br />

How’s your financial literacy?

A task force will come up with recommendations for a national strategy to help Canadians brush up on their financial management skills, or “financial literacy.”

This initiative was announced in the federal budget Tuesday.

If Jocelyn Brown were on that task force, she’d have more than a few pieces of advice for Canadian consumers.

Brown is the director of education for Credit Counselling Services of Canada.

“If you want to take control of your finances, the first thing you need to do is, you have to know where your money goes,” she said.

It doesn’t mean coming up with a complicated budget, just keeping track of spending habits.

“All you do is take 30 or 60 days and track everything: How much on Tim Hortons? How much on haircuts, gas, groceries, etc.?” she said.

“Without knowing where your money goes, you’ll never manage everything.”

Another problem is consumers aren’t aware of the cost of credit and paying vast amounts of interest for a long time.

“And lines of credit are dangerous also,” Brown said.

“What we see is consumers are spending more than they make and credit cards and lines of credit cards are picking up the slack.”

 
 
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