Student loans. Credit cards. Overdraft accounts. Personal lines of credit.


New post-secondary graduates find there are too many ways to get into debt and too few places to learn how to get out of it. George Brown College, the Investor Education Fund and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada have partnered to offer help, at no cost, to those who want to start taking control of their finances.


Financial Basics — Manage Your Money for the Long Run is a free financial planning course taught by Ellen Roseman, a Toronto Star finance columnist, consumer affairs expert and author.


In this engaging and interactive course, students will learn important, lifelong skills required to manage their debts, plan their financial future, understand how and where to seek assistance and develop sound investment strategies.


“We see people everyday who are missing these important financial basics,” says Susan Murray, director of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s financial literacy program. “This course will help fill that gap.”

While the course is open to all ages, the content is tailored towards those 20 to 35.

“There is nothing really out there geared toward a younger age group,” says Roseman. “Because financial management is not mandatory in school, people have to learn through trial and error, but those mistakes can be hugely expensive especially if you get into credit issues.”

In piloting this course through the Continuing Education division of George Brown College, the three sponsoring organizations are hoping to build a model that can be used across the country to increase financial literacy among young Canadians.

“The old pension plan mentality that existed 20 years ago has been replaced with the expectation that people fund their own retirement. With that shift, there is a massive need for the public, especially young people, to be educated on this topic,” says Tom Hamza, president of Investor Education Fund.

  • Financial Basics — Manage Your Money for the Long Run will cover issues related to credit and debt management, financial planning and investing in just nine hours (three hours for three consecutive Saturdays). Spots are available for May and a third section is being planned for the fall. For more, go to