Heading off to university or college signals the transition to your next stage of education; you hope that investing in post-secondary education will open doors to your future. While no doubt getting a good education can set you up for future success, lessons learned during these years outside of the classroom will play an important role as well.
The Capital One Canada Financial Education study found that:
- Among 18-25 year olds, 50 per cent feel that they are not prepared to properly manage their finances going into post-secondary education
- Fifty-three per cent of Canadians lack the confidence to talk about their finances
- Fifty-eight per cent recognize that talking to friends, family and professionals about their finances helps their level of financial literacy
“The years during which you are pursuing post-secondary education are a great time not only to set yourself up for future career success; it’s also a great time to set yourself up for financial success. You are already in learning mode and the life lessons around money management will help you achieve that success,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“Many Canadians fall woefully short when it comes to financial literacy. Learning about basic financial concepts and finding out where to get the information that you need, means that you’ll make better informed decisions as you move along your career path after graduation,” says Schwartz.
If you feel like your financial literacy is lacking, here are a few tips on how to get up to speed.
Find out more
Financial literacy for students is typically not taught in the classroom, which means that you need to be proactive in seeking out resources to get the answers that you need. Some areas that you should learn about include how to build and maintain good credit, budgeting, how to include savings as part of your personal financial plan and a basic understanding of investment options for your savings.
It’s also important that you be aware of the implications of taking on debt, especially during your school years when you may also be taking out student debt.
Where to look
Consolidated Credit has a number of booklets and other resources in our debt learning center that are helpful. Whether it’s on www.consolidatedcredit.ca or another reliable resource like the Government of Canada’s Financial Literacy Database, there are a number of free tools available.
Don’t forget, there is value in conversation too. Talk to your friends and to your family members. Build up a relationship with a representative at your local bank, trusted advisors can help you understand financial products and options.
Remember- it’s your future. Don’t be shy to ask questions
One of the greatest roadblocks to financial literacy is your own insecurity around your lack of knowledge. The good news is that you hold the power to reverse that trend, and it starts with asking questions and committing to learning what you need to know. Would you rather feel foolish about asking questions initially or feel regret later on if you don’t have the information you need to make wise decisions?
Do your finances leave you with more questions than answers? Do you feel that you lack the necessary financial knowledge to make good financial decisions? Ask us questions and we can help. Call one of our trained credit counsellors at or visit our free online debt analysis.