Emerging Technology for All: Conversational AI’s Pivotal Role

This infographic is a preview of Commonwealth's research survey of 1290 lower-and moderate-income people to understand their perceptions, needs, and uses of conversational AI. 

Control, Sufficiency, and Social Support Lessons from Low-income Canadians about Financial Wellbeing

This report examines how diary participants achieve the financial wellbeing that they have. The evidence we found is that low-income people work very hard to manage their finances. They endeavor to control their finances so that, as one participant said, their finances don’t control them. They must prioritize needs and wants because there is not enough for both. One participant talked about her goal of having a ‘little bit more’ than her needs so that there was a little extra for savings or small purchases or trips. Finally, we saw that family and friends are terribly important for achieving financial wellbeing because social supports can provide loans, gifts, and emotional support. Having a low-income means that banks offer few financial supports. Of course, family and friends also make demands.

Money Mentors – Savings & Debt Resources

Collection of money management resources, including how create effective budgets, realistic spending plans, deal with your debts, save more money, build a stronger credit rating, and prepare for retirement.



Testing the use of the Mint app in an interactive personal finance module

To advance understanding of effective financial education methods, the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) conducted an experiment using Mint, a financial improvement tool offered by Intuit, whose financial products include TurboTax and QuickBooks. This study measures Mint’s effectiveness at improving students’ financial knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Students at the George Washington University participated in a half-day budgeting workshop and were exposed to either Mint, which is a real-time, automated platform, or Excel, which is an offline, static tool. 

The authors found that participation in both workshops was associated with improved preparedness to have conversations about money matters with parents, a greater sense of financial autonomy, and an increased awareness of the importance of budgeting, but that participants in the Mint workshop were more likely to have a positive experience using the budgeting tool, to feel confident that they could achieve a financial goal, and to be engaged in budgeting one month after the workshop. Results show that even short financial education interventions can meaningfully influence students’ financial attitudes and behavior and that an interactive tool like Mint may have advantages over a more static tool like Excel. 



Prosperity Now Scorecard Cost-Of-Living Profiles by State

Prosperity Now has created state-level Cost-of-Living profiles as new features on their Scorecard website. The Prosperity Now Cost of Living profiles provide a comprehensive look at the financial stability of every person living in the United States. Each state profile can be downloaded and used to determine the true cost of living is in the state, based on median monthly income and discretionary spending left at the end of each month after expenses. These values determine what is left over for emergency expenses and long-term aspirational expenses. 

This video presents the cost of living in Georgia.



Stop Overpaying, Start Switching

In the past year, 1 in 4 Canadians surveyed renegotiated their contracts or switched providers to take advantage of better deals and services.

This webpage provides information on switching or renegotiating your contract to reduce your monthly bills and get better products and services.



Review of Financial Literacy Research in Canada: An Environmental Scan and Gap Analysis

The Review of Financial Literacy Research in Canada highlights past and current advancements in financial literacy research (produced by government and non-governmental stakeholders) while identifying existing gaps within the financial landscape. The overriding goal is to help strengthen the financial well-being of all Canadians. The review contains four research priorities: managing debt, navigating the financial marketplace, building savings, and budgeting.



Budgeting resources webinar

This webinar hosted by Credit Canada features guest expert Prosper Canada's Manager of Learning and Training, Glenna Harris. She shares some of their tried-and-true resources to help get people started on budgeting and debt management.

She also provides a new tool - Financial Relief Navigator - that can help connect people with income supports they might be eligible for.



How to really build financial capability

Recent years have seen an explosion in interventions designed to improve financial outcomes of participants. Yet on-the-ground evidence suggests that not all financial education programs are equally successful at achieving this aim.

This paper examines the difference between interventions that work, and those than do not. It attempts to answer the question: “How do you actually build financial capability?” In doing so, we aim to help interested parties enhance the effectiveness of their programs and policies by providing them with evidence-based recommendations to drive positive outcomes in participants.



Soaring with savings

Saving is an important part of financial well-being. Saving money helps you manage short-term needs such as day-to-day spending. It protects you and your family during emergencies. It is the key to reaching your future hopes and dreams.

Maybe you are recovering from a hard time financially and re-starting your savings. Or maybe you are setting new goals, large or small. It is always a good idea to check your savings habits. Savings can give you peace of mind and the freedom to do the things you enjoy.

These worksheets can help you think through what kind of saving is important for you. It can help you create a plan for achieving your financial goals. The worksheets also contain information about savings plans and government supports for education and retirement.

Download the accompanying training deck and facilitation guide for activities, facilitation techniques, tools and resources to use with the Soaring with savings worksheets.

Soaring with savings was made possible through the generous support of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

We are grateful to Momentum Community Economic Development Society and Family Services Greater Vancouver for their content consultation on this resource.

Added on December 17, 2020:  SWS Worksheet #6b - CLB checklist
SWS Worksheet #6b - CLB checklist (Fillable PDF)

November 24, 2020:
Soaring with savings - Training tools - Training deck and facilitator guide