Canada | Financial Literacy

Become more financially savvy with these 3 tips

Learn how to demystify the language of money with CPA Canada’s Just the Facts program

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Financial advisor explaining investment plan to couple on laptop at office deskIn developing the program, CPA Canada sought input from chartered professional accountants across the country to decide on the topics and terms that most needed explanation (Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov)

Are you a parent wanting to understand the difference between an RRSP and an RESP? 

An employee wondering what all the deductions on your pay statement mean? 

A new Canadian trying to navigate a different financial system than the one you know? 

Or someone who simply feels on shaky ground when it comes to financial terms and jargon? 

If so, you’ll find valuable help in Just the Facts: Helping You Talk About Money. This new CPA Canada program aims to give Canadians unbiased, plain language information on multiple financial topics in order to help them become more savvy about money. 

“With Just the Facts, our aim is to demystify the language of money, so you are confident you can ask the right questions and fully understand the answers before you make financial decisions,” explains Doretta Thompson, CPA Canada’s financial literacy leader. 

Here are three key ways the program can help: 

1. EXPAND YOUR FINANCE VOCABULARY 

Money has its own language, explains Thompson. “Many of the words and phrases professionals in the field use daily can feel like a foreign language to those who aren’t familiar with them. In fact, according to the CPA Canada 2018 Canadian Finance Study, only 48 per cent of Canadians give themselves high grades for financial skills.” 

If you’re like many Canadians, you might be reluctant to admit you don’t understand financial terminology, she adds. 

“You might be afraid to ask questions,” she says. “This is where Just the Facts: Helping You Talk About Money comes in. The program provides explanations of common financial topics in an easily digestible format and plain language.” 

2. GET TRUSTED ADVICE

In developing the program, CPA Canada sought input from chartered professional accountants across the country to decide on the topics and terms that most needed explanation. In the end, 24 individual topics were identified—from banking basics to fraud protection, credit cards, savings strategies and pensions.

“From hundreds of ideas generated, these are the top 24 topics our financial literacy volunteers tell us are the most common questions they face,” Thompson says. “We will continue to add to the list.” 

Once the topics were chosen, CPAs helped define and explain each one, refining the information into user-friendly wording and visuals.   

3. FIND SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE

The program focuses mainly on the particular needs of four audiences: 

Adults: Reflecting your many and varied financial needs, this section includes information on everything from banking basics to interest rates, buying a home, paying off debt and personal budgets. 

Seniors: From pensions and credit to protecting yourself against fraud, the topics in this section are aimed at helping you manage your money, whether you’re retired or not. 

New Canadians: All the subject matter here is geared toward helping you better manage your finances—from filing taxes to putting a financial plan into action. 

Educators: With information on subjects such as banking basics and interest rates, the material in this section will help you teach students practical ways to take control of their finances.

To download information, you simply click the topic in the list provided. 

START YOUR EDUCATION 

For a free download of Just the Facts: Helping You Talk About Money infographics and other no-cost resources, visit cpacanada.ca/justthefacts. 

If there’s a money concept you’d like clarified, simply email us at financialliteracy@cpacanada.ca. CPA Canada also offers no-cost workshops on 40 different financial topics. Like Just the Facts, they are presented in plain, straightforward language. To request a workshop, click here.