What does financial literacy mean?

November is Financial Literacy Month. What does that mean?

By Lisa Nguyen, Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy

November is Financial Literacy Month. What does that mean? The federal government’s Task Force on Financial Literacy defined it as, “Having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.” Sound like something you can relate to?

The City of Revelstoke, in partnership with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy and with funding by Columbia Basin Trust has launched a new project on financial literacy.  But what does this mean for those living in Revelstoke? As part of the project, we will be offering learning opportunities aimed at empowering individuals and families so that they can make informed decisions.

This November, we invite you to increase your awareness of financial literacy, especially with Christmas and holiday spending just around the corner. Christmas, and many other occasions involving gifts and spending can add a lot of stress and anxiety to our lives.

“I dread the impulsiveness and rushing of holiday shopping,” explains single-parent Michelle Cole, chair of the Poverty Reduction Working Group. “If possible, I avoid buying an item the first time I see it in the store. By walking out and sleeping on it, I give myself the time to determine if this is a gift I can genuinely afford to give. At the very least I walk around the block to think about it before I go back in the store to make the purchase.”

This could be a great time to take stock of our spending and check in to see what our needs and wants truly are. Perhaps you may even want to create a budget for yourself so that you don’t fall into the trap of overspending in December and dealing with debt in January. Let’s save ourselves from that now!

Here are some ideas to help you through the holiday season:

— Re-gift! Take a look at what you have at home — you may have the perfect gift right under your nose.

— Make a budget and stick to it. With holiday parties to buy new clothes for, gifts to give and events to attend it may be wise to plan ahead to stay financially ahead.

— Be intentional with your gift giving. Are you giving because you feel obligated?  Look at non-consumer alternatives — memories are possessions too. Take advantage of sales. Moonlight Madness is on November 28, why not check it out and find some deals?

Now the next challenge will be to carry this throughout the year. We can help you with that. Keep your eye out for upcoming workshops and programs. All learning opportunities are free of charge and child minding can be provided upon request.

Still interested in learning more? We have a survey for feedback on topic ideas for our winter program, Money Skills. Find the survey at fluidsurveys.com/s/money-skills. There is a prize draw for completing the survey. Maybe you could use the prize or re-gift it!  Questions? Please contact Lisa Nguyen with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy at cbal.lisa@gmail.com or 250-805-2305.

 

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