Ken Kivenko from CanadianFundWatch.com (an incredible resource for Canadian investors) kindly sent me a link to a website that is published by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. The Money Belt (www.themoneybelt.gc.ca) is designed to increase financial literacy in Canada (mostly aimed at younger Canadians aged 15-29, but there are some tools that are applicable to everyone).
Handy Tools For Everyone
- Interactive Credit Card Comparison Tool – This is a fantastic little web application that allows you to narrow down the universe of credit cards based on features that are important to you. Now, this particular tool is more geared to people looking for their first credit card, but I think this would be a great tool for parents to go through with their kids when they are ready to get their first credit card. I suggest taking it for a spin yourself – you might find a better deal than what you have now.
- Interactive Bank Account Comparison Tool – Similar to the credit card tool, filling out the questions in the tool will narrow down your choices progressively. For example, by selecting Ontario I started with a list of 43 possible bank accounts to choose from. By entering my age, the selection drops to 20. You can enter your average monthly balance and this filters the results even more. Once you are ready to see the choices, you are presented with a handy table that summarizes all the information to compare the various accounts quickly and easily.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Signing a Contract – this is a simple to read primer discussing the basics of a contract. I think this would be a great resource for anyone, but again is aimed more at students who are about to tackle their first contracts like cell phone service subscriptions, gym memberships, etc.
Every Little Bit Helps
We probably all agree that financial literacy is severely lacking in Canada (if not the majority of the world). This site is a great step in the right direction. It won’t cover all the bases, but starts with some important fundamentals. You may want to browse the site and perhaps share it with friends and family if you see fit. For more technical information, if you already know the basics, make sure to check out Ken’s site (CanadianFundWatch.com) and be prepared to go down the rabbit hole… :)