Growing household financial instability: Is income volatility the hidden culprit?

On March 9th, 2018, leading American and Canadian researchers and policy makers from all sectors gathered in Toronto to explore the question: Growing household financial instability: Is income volatility the hidden culprit? The policy research symposium was an invitational event co-hosted by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and Prosper Canada. Its purpose was to shine a light on an issue that has gained prominence in US economic and policy circles but was just emerging as a topic for exploration in Canada in the context of
growing household financial instability.

This report summarizes key insights, conclusions and next steps from the symposium in the hopes that it will inform, catalyse and support further action on this issue. To view the conference agenda and links to all conference presentations, please see Appendix 1. Presentation videos can be found online at
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC0J2kAG0MZZ5gd_6ZaHjqqEcenL2jCtP



Debt Relief Options in Canada – Long Term Outcome Comparison

This research report compares the long-term financial outcomes of Canadians, based on a study comparing consumers who used a debt management program (DMP), bankruptcy (BK), or a consumer proposal (CP) to obtain relief from debt.



Millennials and money: Financial preparedness and money management practices before COVID-19

Millennials (individuals age 18–37 in 2018) are the largest, most highly educated, and most diverse generation in U.S. history

This paper assesses the financial situation, money management practices, and financial literacy of millennials to understand how their financial behaviour has changed over the ten years following the Great Recession of 2008 and the situation they were in on the cusp of the current economic crisis (in 2018) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Findings from the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) show that millennials tend to rely heavily on debt, engage frequently in expensive short- and long-term money management, and display shockingly low levels of financial literacy. Moreover, student loan burden and expensive financial decision making increased significantly from 2009 to 2018 among young adults.



Financial literacy and financial resilience: Evidence from around the world

This study presents findings from a measurement of financial literacy using questions assessing basic knowledge of four fundamental concepts in financial decision making: knowledge of interest rates, interest compounding, inflation, and risk diversification. Worldwide, just one in three adults are financially literate—that is, they know at least three out of the four financial concepts. Women, poor adults, and lower educated respondents are more likely to suffer from gaps in financial knowledge.



Supporting the financial resilience of citizens throughout the COVID-19 crisis

This policy brief outlines initial the measures that policy makers can make to increase citizen awareness about effective means of mitigation for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential consequences on their financial resilience and well-being.



OECD/INFE Toolkit for measuring financial literacy and financial inclusion

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation establishes evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges.

The OECD/INFE Toolkit includes a financial literacy questionnaire that captures the financial literacy of diverse populations, first piloted in 2010. In 2015/16 around 40 countries and economies participated in an international survey of adult financial literacy competencies; using data collected using this toolkit.

The OECD/INFE financial literacy and financial inclusion measurement toolkit incorporates:

  • Methodological guidance.
  • A questionnaire designed to capture information about financial behaviour, attitudes and knowledge, in order to assess levels of financial literacy and financial inclusion.
  • A list of the questions included in the questionnaire, and information about whether they will be used to create core financial literacy scores used in previous OECD reports (Annex A).
  • Guidance on how to create the financial literacy scores (Annex A).
  • Guidance on briefing interviewers (Annex B) and discussion around online surveys (Annex C).
  • A checklist for countries wishing to submit data to the OECD (Annex D).



Targeting credit builder loans: Insights from a credit builder loan evaluation

This report presents the results of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) funded evaluation of a Credit Builder Loan (CBL) product. CBLs are designed for consumers looking to establish a credit score or improve an existing one, while at the same time giving them a chance to build their savings.

The study used random assignment to explore four research questions:

  • How does the CBL affect participants’ likelihood of having a credit score?
  • For participants who already had a credit score, how does the CBL affect their score?
  • How likely are CBL borrowers to make late payments on the CBL and other loans?
  • Does the CBL affect participants’ savings balances?



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