Financial Literacy Survey of Young Ontarians Reveals More Needs to be Done

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Northern Credit Union today released the results of a province-wide financial literacy survey of young Ontarians between the ages of 18 and 25, showing that there’s certainly room for improvement. In Northern Ontario, 46 per cent of respondents consider themselves knowledgeable about financial literacy, well above the provincial average of 38 per cent.

Six in ten Ontario young people surveyed reported that they learned none of the basic financial literacy concepts in school. However, the situation in Northern Ontario is more positive with only 36 per cent of northern respondents reporting this.

“We’re encouraged to see at least some differences in the survey results in Northern Ontario,” said Tony Dunham, Senior Vice President, Innovation and Operations for Northern Credit Union. “It suggests that our teachers and students are stepping up and tackling these important issues. We’re proud to support financial literacy in the schools with tools and resources that help make learning fun.”

Commissioned by Northern Credit Union, the survey was conducted by The Strategic Counsel in October. Other insights yielded by the survey include:

·       The most important financial literacy topics to the young people surveyed are saving/budgeting (49%) and money management (44%).

·       The next most important topics were managing debt and credit (32%), and planning for the future (29%).

·       61 per cent of respondents reported a desire to learn more ways to plan and invest for the future, though interest in this among Northern respondents was lower at 45 per cent.

As well, Northern Credit Union has worked with several Northern municipalities to officially declare November Financial Literacy Month. So far, North Bay and Thunder Bay have stepped up with declarations, with more expected in the coming days.

“We’re thrilled so many local governments are supporting Financial Literacy Month. It really helps us spread the word on this important topic,” concluded Mr. Dunham.

Northern Credit Union’s 2018 financial literacy initiatives focus on high school students and include:

·       An online game called Surviving the Financial Wild (www.survivingthefinancialwild.com) updated for 2018, this trivia-based game helping students learn and navigate personal financial challenges and opportunities;

·       A series of financial literacy classroom workshops for grade 9-12 students led by Northern Credit Union staff;

·       The introduction of 5 scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each, awarded to qualifying students to support their post-secondary education;

·       A financial literacy website (www.northernknowhow.com) with videos and other resources to help students and teachers alike;

·       Prizes from Northern Credit Union. To enter, students simply play the Surviving the Wild online game and their names will be entered in a random draw for a $250 gift card for each winning student, and $1,000 for each of the winners’ schools.

The online game and additional financial literacy resources can be found at www.survivingthefinancialwild.com and www.northernknowhow.com.