Features | From Pivot Magazine

In focus: Financial Literacy Month

November is a good opportunity to plan for the future and set intentions about our finances

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Young women paying bills on a digital tabletFinancial literacy month is the perfect time to promote a better understanding of money and the role it plays in our lives (Getty Images/JGI/Jamie Grill)

Money permeates vast aspects of our lives. We deal with it every single day, whether directly or as a consideration in the decisions we make. Yet, for many Canadians, money remains an elusive topic. 

Why can people be shy, or even fearful, when talking about money

It comes down to how we process decisions. 

It is often easier to be “lazy” and go with the status quo than to unpack what we really need to know and shift to a proactive mindset. We believe, wrongfully, that the less we think about our finances, the more we can spend time on the people and things we love and the moments that spark joy.

What we often don’t consider are the lasting consequences of avoiding money decisions. Because, when we avoid thinking proactively about our finances, what we are really doing is discounting our future selves. 

In Canada, November is financial literacy month. It is a time when the Canadian government, along with organizations that support financial education and empowerment, shine a light on the issue by promoting resources that inform Canadian consumers on how to improve personal financial management and, in general, make better financial decisions. 

People often think of financial literacy as the acquisition of financial knowledge, but that’s just where it begins. There are actually three components: the acquisition of financial knowledge, building financial confidence and taking appropriate action. Developing and applying skills such as budgeting and goal setting, planning for retirement, purchasing a home and saving for a child’s education enables us to manage our financial well-being and participate fully in society. 

The accounting profession is uniquely positioned to help people understand and talk about money. As financial experts who deal with personal and business finances, we offer a dimension of expertise unmatched by virtually any other group. At CPA Canada, we too have played a role in Canadians’ financial literacy journey by creating a comprehensive range of resources, tools and multimedia programs to boost knowledge, increase confidence and inspire action. These resources can be accessed online via cpacanada.ca/financialliteracy. We encourage all CPAs to explore these materials and to register as volunteers to contribute to the program’s ongoing development. After all, our profession’s mandate is to act in the public’s interest and what better way to make a difference than through financial education and empowerment? 

Watch: Our financial experts host live and on-demand webinars covering programs from basic personal finance to managing your own business.

Listen: Catch up on all six seasons of our podcast, Mastering Money, for the inside industry scoop.

Read: Our monthly blogs feature CPAs sharing their stories, experiences and insights along with the biggest trending finance topics today.   

Self-evaluate: Take our online self-assessment tool, the Financial Wellness Guide, to see where your blind spots may be. You will receive takeaway action items that will immediately help you on your path of financial literacy and self-improvement. 

Often, the biggest challenge is knowing what we don’t know. It’s why it’s so important to take the time this month to learn about and share these resources with friends and family. As we near the holiday season, think about the money-related choices we make and choose to give a gift that keeps on giving over the course of our lives: financial knowledge. 

Financial literacy month provides an opportunity to be an ambassador in your networks and start those intimidating conversations about money. We encourage you to not only share our resources but to also promote the no-cost programming we offer to local organizations. CPA Canada will provide the content and a CPA volunteer speaker to present one of 48 session topics for diverse audiences, ranging in age from schoolchildren to seniors, and tailored to meet the needs of different groups like new Canadians and people living in remote communities. 

If you are a CPA, consider volunteering as a presenter in your local community or by contributing to the program as a writer and content creator. Email us at [email protected] to join the CPA financial literacy movement.

Remember, the sooner we start being intentional about our finances, the more prepared we are for the future. Celebrate financial literacy month and start the conversation today. 


CPA Canada’s financial literacy resources range from teaching kids how to budget to planning for retirement. Webinars, worksheets and publications are also available on a range of topics all year round.