Gaeil Farrar photo Shirley Grassie (left)

Budget setting first step to financial planning

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada—the perfect time for Canadians of all ages to strengthen their financial know-how.

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada—the perfect time for Canadians of all ages to strengthen their financial know-how.

During Financial Literacy Month, Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy is encouraging you to take part in activities designed to increase your financial knowledge and help you reach your financial goals.

The week one challenge is to start with a budget.

• A budget can be as simple as tracking money coming in and going out.

• A budget is a first step to understanding our day-to-day priorities.

• A budget provides a picture of our financial situation and helps us manage money and debt today, and plan and save for tomorrow.

Why is budgeting so important?

According to a recent report from Prosper Canada “Where have all our nest eggs gone?” in just 20 years we have turned from a nation of savers to spenders.

And not just spenders, big spenders!

In 1982 Canadians saved an average of 20 per cent of yearly income; in 2005 we hit a low of one per cent and today we have crept back to about four per cent.

We have also become big borrowers and carry a huge load of household debt at an average of 167 per cent of our yearly income.

These two factors combined put many Canadian households on the top of the cliff of financial stability and a job loss, change in income level or interest rate rise could tip many families over the edge into severe financial difficulty or even bankruptcy.

Check out the financial literacy display in the Williams Lake Library this month for ideas and resources to help you get started.

For more information on workshops and one-to-one financial coaching sessions, email

Kirsten Stark is the literacy outreach worker with Cariboo Partners for Literacy.


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