Common Cents? Finances Aren’t Always Easy

Canada may have earned its spot on the top 10 list of happiest countries in the world, but it’s certainly not the most financially literate. According to the 2009 Canadian Financial Capability Survey (CFCS), the average Canadian is earning a C in terms of household finances. Unless you’ve devoted your life to the financial world by studying economics or subscribing to the Financial Post, you too are probably clueless when it comes to money. But don’t worry —if you’re tired of scratching your head over your bank balance and investments, your poor grades are an easy fix thanks to the Internet.

Finances Aren’t Always Easy, but there's lots of info on the web that can help you get back on track

Where else can you find the best butter tart recipe, a street view of your next holiday destination, and the show times for Moonlight at your local theatre all in fewer than 5 minutes? The digital age has democratized the way we access information, making it much easier to educate ourselves than ever before. Now we don’t have to rely on (and pay for) adult education classes or meetings with financial advisors, nor do we have to waste our precious time in libraries or classrooms in order to understand our finances.

You can improve your financial literacy from the comfort of your couch, with a coffee in hand and your favourite playlist playing softly in the background. Because let’s be honest — these little touches can take the edge off of your next task!

Do you feel lucky? If so, you can type in the subject you want to learn more about right into Google and hope for the best. Be sure to cast a critical eye to both the domain and the content. What makes the Internet such an egalitarian source of information means you’re liable to find false data. Keep this in mind as you analyze the tone and message of what you’re reading.

If this puts too much onus on you, you can always direct your search by using official government and financial organizations for professional financial advice. Cast your net wide to include the Government of Canada, traditional banking institutions, and alternative personal loan companies. Each will provide unique counsel on household finances, including how to save, make budgets, secure payday loans, and invest your money.

You can also unearth some helpful financial tools on these sites as well as on the Play and Apple Stores. Both app stores have a huge selection of financial apps designed to help create budgets and save money. From couponing apps like Checkout 51 and Snap by Groupon to money management apps like Mint and GoodBudget, you’ll find something that works for your lifestyle.

It may take a while, but in the end all of your efforts in front of the screen will be worth it. The more you read the more you’ll understand — which means you’ll be better equipped to make financially smart decisions. So enroll yourself in self-guided adult education and improve the mark you’d get on household finances.