Welcome to FCAC's first outreach newsletter. This initiative represents another important milestone in our efforts to foster an understanding of financial services among Canadian consumers and our different partners and stakeholders.
Every month, FCAC's representatives criss-cross the country to provide objective information designed to help consumers choose the best banking products and services for their needs. I have also been visiting many provinces personally over the past months, and will continue to do so, in order to promote the importance of financial literacy to different government partners and community groups.
In today's economic climate, Canadians are asking many very specific and important financial questions, launching this newsletter is FCAC's newest initiative in helping to answer those questions. And as always, we are striving to make the information in all our products and publications more accessible and user-friendly. Our new, dynamic red and gold logo is another example of that effort. All of the Agency's products and publications will soon reflect our new image.
This quarterly newsletter aims to keep you punctually informed of FCAC's new education products and activities. We rely on your feedback to adjust our actions and interventions. So do not hesitate to send questions, comments or ideas to our outreach team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I'd like to thank you for your efforts in building a well-informed nation when it comes to financial issues.
New Web tool makes financial education easier for Canadian youth
Today's youth quickly develop a keen interest in money, or at least ways to spend it. But despite this unquenchable teen thirst to talk money, basic financial lessons are usually left off the curriculum.
Since its establishment in 2001, the FCAC has pioneered some clear and easy-to-use print and Web tools to give consumers objective, reliable information on financial issues. In order to foster financial literacy in youth, the Agency launched last fall, in partnership with the British Columbia Securities Commission, a comprehensive Web-based tool to help youth acquire crucial financial know-how.
This bilingual resource named, The City, is free of charge and offers a metropolis of benefits for time-pressed educators. Easy to grasp and deliver, it can be adapted to any classroom and meets the learning outcomes related to financial literacy in every province and territory.
And since it can be taught using either in class lessons or self-guided online modules, consumers can also adapt the activities to meet their own needs.
To find out more about The City, visit TheMoneyBelt.gc.ca, FCAC's gateway to financial education.
In these hard economic times, many consumers have trouble paying their credit card balance in full before the due date. However, carrying a balance from month to month on a credit card can be very expensive, because of interest charges. If doing so is the only option, FCAC offers the following tips to help Canadian consumers control their credit card costs:
To quickly and easily compare the characteristics of more than 220 credit cards in Canada and obtain more tips on how to get the most from them, consumers are invited to consult FCAC's credit card selector tool also available at moneytools.ca.
You probably have already heard the expression “look after your nickels and dimes, and the dollars will take care of themselves”. In order to collect those dollars, low-cost bank accounts can represent an interesting solution.
Low-cost bank accounts cost less than $4 a month. They are much cheaper than other types of accounts, and offer such features as a debit card, cheque-writing privileges, a number of free in-branch transactions, and a monthly statement or a bankbook.
As several banks have agreed to offer low-cost accounts, consumers should shop around for the kind of account that best suits their banking needs. For example, they may prefer to do their banking through a teller. Some banks may charge extra for some in-branch services (such as bill payments) on top of regular monthly fees. Having this type of information can save them from any surprise fees on their bank statement at the end of the month.
To make sure that consumers understand all of the terms and conditions of the low-cost account they choose, they must check out:
For more information about low-cost accounts, FCAC invites consumers to visit its Web site at moneytools.ca.
The economy is motivating many Canadian consumers to keep a closer eye on their spending habits, such as thinking twice before jumping on the “buy now, pay later” treadmill. It is also a good opportunity for consumers to review their financial IQ and aim to sharpen it.
Do consumers have a good picture of their current financial situation? How much do they really know about the financial products they own? For example, do they know their credit card's annual interest rate? Are they making the most of their mortgage?
Becoming financially literate pays off in so many ways; improved peace of mind, greater ability to spot and avoid costly mistakes, and more confidence in making financial decisions. So stop waiting and spread the word to encourage consumers to make a plan today to get a better grip on that hard-earned money of theirs.
To find objective, accessible and most importantly, understandable financial information, consumers are invited to check out our Web site moneytools.ca and view or download: