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Mastering Financial Literacy – Second Semester

Our second article on the importance of financial literacy deals with planning and saving for your future and protecting yourself – and your plans – against fraud and financial abuse.

We understand that this is a busy time of life. Saving for, or renovating, a home. Building a family. Taking courses to get higher in the paygrid. But trust us: few things in life are as satisfying as taking the time to make sure you’re on the right financial path to meeting your goals. And it all starts with a plan.

One of the key concepts to saving is the idea of “paying yourself first”. As this video demonstrates, it’s a simple idea that can make a BIG difference. “Paying yourself first” does not mean spending money on yourself.  It does mean saving before you do anything else.  Instead of saving whatever happens to be left over at the end of your pay period, set aside a certain portion of your income the day you get paid…before you spend anything!  Make it a habit.  At Educators, we can help you set up a regular, pre-authorized contribution (PAC) from your chequing account to your savings account (or TFSA or RRSP).  If the money is transferred automatically, your savings will grow regularly, and more quickly.  Most people say they don’t even miss it!

Bonus: if the PAC is used to purchase investments, you’ll benefit from dollar-cost averaging – because you invest the same amount each time, you buy more securities when the price is low, and less when it is high.

Financial literacy also means financial protection.

Like many inventions and improvements of modern life, computer technology can be a double-edged sword. The edge we have to look out for is the one that makes it possible for sophisticated hackers and con men to access our financial information.  Fortunately, we can all take the type of precautions that common sense would dictate, such as not telling anyone our PIN number for our debit/credit card, or password on the computer.  There are many sources of information online available for you to bone up on the subject, such as the Financial Consumer Agency of CanadaThe Office of Consumer Affairs, and the Canadian Bankers Association.

An invaluable resource: Educators Financial Group

Another place to do your homework on planning for the future and protecting yourself from fraud is The Learning Centre on our website.  Educators is committed to improving the financial literacy of our clients, the education community, and The Learning Centre is packed with information on financial planning, budgeting, investments, retirement, and subjects specific to education members such as yourself.  Take advantage of this valuable source of information that’s geared to your needs.

The last word: there is no last word.

We’d like to leave you with this thought: financial literacy is not limited to Financial Literacy Month (November). Just as education will continue throughout your life, becoming financially literate is an ongoing effort that must be renewed as new concepts and financial products become available.  It pays to work with trained professionals who understand the unique needs of the education community, such as the financial advisors and lending specialists at Educators Financial Group.

Take our quiz to find out what you’ve retained about planning for the future, and protecting yourself against the potential for fraud and financial abuse.

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