Money – The Last Taboo in Canada

Money – The Last Taboo in Canada
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About the Author

Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy

Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy

Stacy is the Director of Education and Community Awareness at the Credit Counselling Society (CCS). She lives in Oakville with her husband, dog and cat.

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If you’re ever in need to empty a room or shut down a conversation, start talking about money! In Canada, we are comfortable talking about a lot of things – the weather, hockey, politics, and even sex and religion. However we will avoid the topic of money like the plague. And yet, there are probably very few subjects that we all have experience with, good, bad or ugly, and we’re all impacted by it.

A large part of my work in financial education involves opening up the metaphorical closet door and shining the light on money.  Here are a couple of scary statistics to illustrate why we need to talk about money regularly:

  • 50% of Canadians have no budget;
  • 40% of Canadians do not pay off their credit card at the end of the month;
  • 36% of Canadians find their current debt load “overwhelming”;
  • 50% of Canadians report living pay cheque to pay cheque;
  • 35% of Canadians struggle to pay their bills at the end of the month; and
  • 51% of Canadians lie about their finances.
    • Sources: BMO, Canadian Payroll Association, Statistics Canada

When you think about it, these statistics shouldn’t be all that surprising; most of us aren’t born with money management talent, most of our families didn’t talk about money when we were growing up, and money management basics weren’t part of the curriculum for most of us when we were in grade school.

So if we don’t talk about it at home or in school, how is anyone supposed to learn this basic yet highly valuable life skill?

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It would be great if it was magically bestowed upon us as we made our first purchase with our first credit card but alas, no amount of fairy dust is going to make it so. So this is where we need to be brave and courageous and be willing to open up the closet door and turn the lights on.

Join me in this journey as we explore various money topics including budgeting, savings, credit, and debt. There is no concept too basic, no question too stupid to ask, and no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed as we’re in this together.

Until our next money chat, what’s one positive thing you can do today to help your financial future?

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