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Overcoming personal finance fears and creating awareness can have many positive benefits

26 November 2018

Submitted by ABC Life Literacy Canada

A staggering 55 per cent of Canadians have inadequate numeracy skills, which means they may struggle with understanding written instructions that rely on charts, numbers and conditional statements.1 Moreover, 4 in 10 Canadians report that money is a daily concern and a third of low-income Canadians report worrying about money almost constantly. 2

Many individuals and families who struggle with financial literacy skills often avoid everyday situations out of intimidation or embarrassment that those with strong financial literacy skills undertake regularly such as simple banking or investing in education or retirement savings plans.

The benefits of overcoming money and personal finance fears as well as knowing what questions to ask or where to turn to for information and resources is important.

 At its very core, financial literacy month is about teaching Canadians about money management including simple budgeting and savings skills and strategies. Increased financial literacy can help reduce personal and family stress.

Throughout the year, ABC Life Literacy Canada works with community learning partners to deliver Money Matters, a free introductory financial literacy program for adult learners. A special focus is placed during November’s Financial Literacy Month to help Canadians become more confident about their financial future and overcome barriers.

Money Matters workbooks are used in classrooms across Canada, and are full of learning and activities that can be adapted according to the needs of individual groups. Money Matters workshops can be delivered by the staff of the group delivering the program, or with the optional support of local TD Bank Group volunteer-tutors.

The Money Matters program has also been adapted to best suit the needs of various learner audiences including Newcomers and New Canadians, as well as Indigenous Peoples.
The Money Matters program is also available online for self-directed learning at

Here, learners can work through the free online workbooks at their own pace. These include:
A Place to Start: Spending Plans
RESPs and Other Ways to Save
Financial Literacy for the Family
Visit for additional online resources for practitioners, learners, and volunteers.

  1. (Survey of Adult Skills: Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, 2013).
  2.  (Canadians and their Money, Financial Planning Standards Council, 2016).