Today the Financial Futures Collaborative, a United Way-supported initiative, is kicking off Financial Literacy Month in Calgary. This marks an important moment in how we approach financial literacy work in our city. Profiling this month is meant to spark awareness about financial literacy and its role as an essential skill for all Calgarians, and to connect people with impactful financial literacy services and resources available in our community.
The role that financial literacy plays in supporting resiliency for more vulnerable populations is becoming ever more important since the financial downturn of 2008. The work of the Financial Futures Collaborative is focused on two aspects of poverty reduction efforts: ensuring people have the ability, knowledge and confidence to make effective financial decisions; and ensuring people have the ability and opportunity to build their assets and save.
Our current reality is one where household debt levels have never been higher. Half of all Canadians don’t have a budget. For those struggling on limited incomes, their ability to make decisions about their financial goals and to build up their cushion of savings is that much harder, and yet that much more important. Without these assets, an unexpected expense or event can cause serious financial strain on a household – driving instability and insecurity.
Our work is grounded in the belief that for Calgarians to move out of poverty, they must have access to the opportunities, tools and supports needed to build resiliency and create more vibrant financial futures.
There are a range of exciting events and activities happening in Calgary and countless ways that you can get involved. The Financial Futures Collaborative has been a key partner in organizing these events:
- November 8 – We will be hosting David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and the newest investor to the show Dragons Den, and Lesley Scorgie, author of Rich by Thirty
- November 14 – We are bringing together organizations that offer free services related to financial literacy. For an entire day, they will be at the central Calgary Public Library for a resource fair.
— Michael Williams, Strategy Lead for United Way of Calgary and Area. Photo from Flickr, by penguincakes.