4 Reasons to keep saving even when inflation is high

When inflation rates go up, it can be tempting to look for ways to grow your money at rates higher than the rate of inflation. Investing can feel more appealing than the average savings account.

While it’s important to stay the course on your investing goals, don’t neglect your savings. There are many reasons why a savings account is still worth tending to, even during tough times. If you’re making ends meet and still have extra to put aside, keep these tips in mind.



Spending habits calculator

Use this calculator to see how changes to your spending habits can impact your budget and help you save more of your money.



Make it easier to save

It pays to make saving a habit. Look for easy ways to build saving into your life and to make it automatic.



Accessible financial services incubator

Drive through a low-income neighborhood in virtually any American city and it quickly becomes apparent that the area’s financial health is at risk.

The giveaway? The abundance of payday lenders. According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, there are now more than 20,000 of these organizations across the country—which tops even the ubiquitous McDonald’s storefront by roughly 40%.1

These alternative financial services providers offer short-term loans at interest rates that can top 400%. They appeal to desperate consumers with no access to traditional, more affordable credit and offer an immediate fix that can lead to months, if not years, of financial pain. In its Payday Lending in America series, the Pew Charitable Trusts reports that Americans spend roughly $7.4 billion (B) on payday loans each year.

Could traditional financial institutions find a way to deliver credit to this consumer niche without compromising their own health? The Filene Research Institute, a consumer finance think-and-do tank, hypothesized that the answer was yes. 

Read the full report. 



Investing and saving during a recession

If a recession seems likely, consider how your investing and savings plans may be affected. Increases in the cost of living and borrowing, combined with the overall financial uncertainty over the impact of a potential recession, can be enough to cause personal and financial stress. There is no single best way to respond to such times.



Financial literacy around the world: insights from the S&P’s rating services global financial literacy survey

The Standard & Poor's Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey is the world’s largest, most comprehensive global measurement of financial literacy. It probes knowledge of four basic financial concepts: risk diversification, inflation, numeracy, and interest compounding.

The survey is based on interviews with more than 150,000 adults in over 140 countries. In 2014 McGraw Hill Financial worked with Gallup, Inc., the World Bank Development Research Group, and GFLEC on the S&P Global FinLit Survey.



Rising adoption of contactless payments and digital wallets: 3 key takeaways

Over the last two years, digital payment solutions, including peer-to-peer apps, digital wallets, and contactless payment solutions, have grown in popularity and adoption. With 125 million American mobile payment users predicted by 2025 Commonwealth sought to understand the potential for these payment apps as a channel to advance inclusive and equitable financial access.



Emergency savings features that work for employees earning low to moderate incomes

Workers earning low to moderate incomes (LMI) continue to face challenges in financial security. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the financial situation of many workers earning LMI. Along with the current macroeconomic environment, it has become even more challenging to build liquid savings for unexpected expenses. In this brief, we will share insights from our latest research with DCIIA Research Retirement Center on how employers and service providers can build and offer emergency savings solutions that are inclusively designed for workers earning LMI.



RESP savings calculator

Estimate your child(ren)'s future education costs, and see how your planned RESP savings, including contributions and grants, will cover those costs.



Investment products

There are many investment products, here's some information about them:

Annuities: a contract with a life insurance company. Annuities are most commonly used to generate retirement income. 

Bonds: when you buy a bond, you’re lending your money to a company or a government for a set period of time. In return, the issuer pays you interest. On the date the bond becomes due, the issuer is supposed to pay back the face value of the bond to you in full.

Complex investments: these investments may have the potential for higher gains, but carry greater risks. 

ETFs: when you buy a share or unit of an ETF, you’re investing in a portfolio that holds a number of different stocks or other investments.

GICs: when you buy a guaranteed investment certificate (GIC), you are agreeing to lend the bank or financial institution your money for a set number of months or years. You are guaranteed to get the amount you deposited back at the end of the term. 

Mutual funds & segregated funds: when you buy a mutual fund, your money is combined with the money from other investors, and allows you to buy part of a pool of investments. 

Real estate: While real estate investments can offer a range of benefits, there is no guarantee that you will earn an income or profit and, like any investment, there are a number of risks and uncertainties that you need to carefully consider before investing.

Stocks: The stock market brings together people who want to sell stock with those who want to buy stock. When you buy stock (or equity) in a company, you receive a piece of the company and become a part owner.

Pensions & saving plans: if your employer offers contributions to your retirement or other savings plan, take advantage. 

Cannabis: Emerging sectors like the cannabis industry have often attracted investors hoping to be among the first to capitalize on the potential growth and high returns of what they believe are untapped markets or products that may be popular in the future.

Cryptoassets: Cryptoassets primarily designed to be a store of value or medium of exchange (e.g., Bitcoin) are often referred to as “digital coins.



Preparing for financial emergencies

Some emergencies in life can affect you financially. You could get sick, lose your job, or have a costly repair to your car or home. One of the best ways to cope with unexpected financial changes is to have an emergency fund. Ideally, this fund would provide enough money to cover your essential living expenses so you can avoid taking on debt.



TFSA Calculator

A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) can be used to save for any goal. You put after-tax dollars into a TFSA, but your investments grow tax-free and you won’t pay any tax on withdrawal. 

Use this calculator to estimate the value of the investments in your TFSA when you’re ready to withdraw them, and compare this amount to the value of your investments in a non-registered plan to see your overall estimated tax savings.



2022 Canadian Retirement Survey

The key takeaways from the 2022 Canadian Retirement Survey are:

  1. Canadians are growing increasingly concerned about day-to-day cost of living impacting their ability to save for retirement. 
  2. Capacity to save is dissolving for working Canadians, especially for those under 35
  3. Inflation and housing affordability concerns for all Canadians, especially for those under 35. 
  4. Canadians recognize the personal value of pensions
  5. Canadians recognize the societal value of pensions

Read the full presentation conducted for Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.



Take the stress out of budgeting

Making a budget is one of the most helpful financial tools you can use on a regular basis. A budget can give you a clear picture of where your money is going. It’s easier to plan for the life you want, when you know how much money you have for saving, spending and paying off debt.

If you’ve never made a budget, or have not created one in a long time, it can be an intimidating reality check.  Don’t let stress or worry keep you from creating a budget.  The best budgeting method to use is the one that works for you.



8 ways to prepare financially for retirement

This article from OSC provides 8 tips to help you plan for retirement. 

Transitioning from working life to retirement takes careful financial planning and decision-making – give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Here are some things you can do ahead of time.



Introduction to investing: A primer for new investors

The resources and tools provided by OSC on this website are intended to be a starting point for new investors, including people who are new to Canada. The information here can help you make more informed investment decisions and help you better protect your money.

The information is available in multiple languages.



Banking for newcomers to Canada

Banks offer extensive information on how newcomers to Canada can get started in their new country, including checklists, information, financial services and advice.

The Canadian Bankers Association has compiled some basic information to get you started including an infographic with features of the Canadian banking system. 



How women can save more money

This webinar hosted by FCAC (originally broadcast on November 17, 2021) targets women who want to learn more about managing money and building saving habits.

Guest speaker, personal financial expert, Rubina Ahmed-Haq has also contributed to Canada's financial literacy blog on "Women face unique money challenges".

Helpful links related to the content matter in this video:

Budget Planner

Getting help from a credit counsellor

Choosing a financial advisor

 



Momentum’s Money Management Courses

Momentum is a change-making organization that acts as a bridge by taking an economic approach to poverty reduction and adding a social perspective to economic development initiatives.

Our programs are holistic, covering everything from financial literacy, entrepreneurship and employment training, to developing communication skills, building self-confidence and establishing positive social networks.

Our work is focused in the following 3 areas:

  • Programs and services for people that are living on low incomes to increase their ability to manage and save moneytrain for and maintain good jobs, or start a business. Built on the sustainable livelihoods model, Momentum’s programs work to build livelihood assets—connections, sense of self, basics needs and services, skills and knowledge, and finances—that lead to increased income and assets, and ultimately an exit from poverty.
  • Support to communities and businesses to build and sustain the local economy from the ground up through Community Economic Development education and resources.
  • Community leadership working with community partners, academics, civil servants and elected officials to support innovative  systems-change approaches to poverty reduction, promote best-practices through evaluation and research, and influence public policies to remove barriers and allow people to be more financially stable.

Check out our on demand money management workshops



Helping low-income clients retire successfully- Free Course

Financial planners and advisors want to better the lives of the people they work with, but may not know that conventional retirement advice often doesn’t work for low-income retirees.

Getting it right when every dollar counts

The advice that works well for higher- and middle-income clients can work against lower-income retirees – meaning they lose out on government benefits and must live on less, even though every dollar counts when you’re living on a low income. That’s why there’s a new CE-accredited course available at no charge for anyone who wants to learn how to help low-income retirees plan for and make the most of their retirement income. Although the course was developed for financial advisors and planners, it is open and available to all.

Learn from seasoned experts

Based on the work of John Stapleton of Open Policy Ontario and developed by Certified Financial Planner professional Alexandra Macqueen, the course is hosted and was accredited by Business Career College, a We Know Training brand and a leader in training for the financial services and insurance industries.

The course includes:

● Accreditation for 5.5 CE credits with FP Canada, Advocis, and IIROC
● Working knowledge of the government benefits programs available to low-income retirees
● A look at the savings and investing options available to low-income retirees and how to optimize client situations
● Guidance about the impact of earned income and taxes on low-income retirees
● A series of case studies, plus recorded conversations with financial planners about how planning for low-income retirees works in practice

To take the course:

1. Go to www.businesscareercollege.com
2. Either sign in (if you have an account) or Sign Up (near the top right) to create a free account. You'll then have to "Create Learner Account."
3. Once logged in, there is a yellow button near the top right of the screen called "Enrolment Key." Click here and provide the Enrolment Key retiring-on-low-income-indigo-2771 (an exact copy and paste is probably ideal)



P4P Planning Network Resource Hub

The P4P Planning Network was launched by Partners for Planning to support relatives, friends, or caregivers of a person with a disability with planning resources and tools. Resources on relationship building, school transitions, community involvement, financial objectives and more are shared and continuously updated on the website. 

Their Early Planning Toolkit includes an action guide, a checklist to help identify ways to build an everyday childhood while planning for the future and webcasts. 



Living your retirement

These resources from the Ontario Securities Commission are oriented towards planning for retirement. Resources include tips on insurance planning, government benefits, RRSP calculator, and more. 

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.



Recordkeepers’ Role in Providing Emergency Savings for an Inclusive Recovery

In this webinar, Commonwealth in partnership with DCIIA Retirement Research Center (RRC) and SPARK Institute present findings from our new research about drivers and considerations of recordkeeper-provided emergency savings and host a discussion with industry experts.

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.



Tax Time: An opportunity to Start Small and Save Up

This paper provides a description of how having liquid savings contributes to people’s financial stability and resiliency, and the unique opportunity that tax time offers to begin saving for the short and longer term. Starting to save or continuing to save when receiving a tax refund may lead to longer term financial well-being. 

This paper also provides a few examples of how Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs creatively used Bureau tools, resources and technical assistance to encourage savings as well as some of the results they reported. It provides insights from a subgroup of the programs in the cohort that collected additional information from consumers on their intent to save, the various types of accounts into which they saved, and the goals they were striving for by saving. Finally, this paper offers recommendations on some strategies that can be employed to increase people’s interest and commitment to saving during the tax preparation process. 



Planning for tax-time savings

This report presents the results of a large-scale field experiment that the tax preparation company H&R Block (the Company) conducted in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the CFPB). The field experiment investigated whether customers could be encouraged, through consumer communications with and without the offer of a small financial incentive, to use a savings feature on a prepaid card to save a portion of their tax refunds from all sources, including state and federal refunds. The CFPB was particularly interested in whether consumers who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) would be receptive to messages about saving. 



2020 Financial Literacy Annual Report

The 2020 Financial Literacy Annual Report details the United States' Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's financial literacy strategy and activities to improve the financial literacy of consumers. Congress specifically charged the Bureau with conducting financial education programs and ensuring consumers receive timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions. Empowering consumers to help themselves, protect their own interests, and choose the financial products and services that best fit their needs is vital to preventing consumer harm and building financial well-being. Overall, this report describes the Bureau’s efforts in a broad range of financial literacy areas relevant to consumers’ financial lives. It highlights our work, including the Bureau's:

  • Response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Pivot to financial resilience
  • Start Small, Save Up campaign
  • Foundational research to understand the pathways to financial well-being
  • Misadventures in Money Management online training program
  • Managing Someone Else’s Money guides
  • Your Money, Your Goals toolkit
  • Paying for College tool
  • Direct to consumer tools, community outreach channels, and areas of research



Retirement Security and Financial Decision-making: Research Brief

A growing number of retirees are not experiencing the expected gradual reduction in spending after they retire. This report summarizes the findings of a Bureau study into whether people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had the income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same level of spending for at least five consecutive years after retiring. The study found that about half of people who retired between 1992 and 2014 had income, savings, and/or non-housing assets to maintain the same spending level for five consecutive years after retiring. In addition, the Bureau found that the ability to maintain the same spending level in the first five years in retirement was associated with large spending cuts in later years. The study helps identify ways to protect retirees from overspending their savings in early retirement.



Change Matters Volume 2: Assets

This is the second brief in a new series from The Financial Clinic. Change Matters leverages the data gathered through our revolutionary financial coaching platform, Change Machine, alongside the voices, wisdom, and lived experiences of Change Machine customers. We hope that our action oriented analysis will lead to positive social change. We believe we have a responsibility to ask the right questions, to use our data for good, and to inspire products, practice, and policy innovations that centralize the needs of the working-poor in building economic mobility.



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.



Indicators for Financial Empowerment: Learnings from the National Financial Empowerment Champions Project

This resource offers a set of common indicators that community organizations can use to measure the reach and impact of their financial empowerment (FE) programming. It is intended for any community organization that works to foster greater financial well-being for economically disadvantaged Canadians.

This resource compiles the key performance indicators (KPIs) and presents them for use by community organizations beyond the National Financial Empowerment Champions (FECs) partners. The KPIs have been refined in response to partners’ feedback and in recognition of developments in the FE field, ensuring that the definitions reflect current and best practices in the field of financial empowerment/financial literacy in Canada and the USA.