During the best of times, it is important to have an understanding of your finances. However, during difficult times, this becomes even more important. Many of us are facing challenges that we have never faced before, and we may find ourselves worrying about money now more than ever. This is a time for us to worry about the health of our family, ourselves, and our community, but the sad reality is that finances, especially if you are in the process of buying a home, demand attention and sometimes your worry.
However, important doesn’t have to mean difficult. An understanding of your finances will enable you to make decisions that fit your situation best. This won’t negate any financial hardship, but it will mitigate the worst of the fall out at best, and at worst will give you certainty, which is something we all need during these times.
Now that we know why financial literacy is important during difficult times, where do we start?
There are a number of resources that are available to Canadian citizens for low or no cost. Most of these initiatives pre-date the virus, but the principles of understanding debt to income ratios, mortgages, home equity, and the best options for your situation remain the same. Financial literacy is about understanding how to make financial decisions in the best, and the worst of times. These pre-COVID initiatives will remain helpful during the outbreak.
On the Government of Canada website, there are several resources free of charge available to you. The government has a program called Your Financial Toolkit which is a series of twelve free modules. This includes financial basics from budgeting to mortgages and even fraud protection. The involved modules have information presented in words, graphics, and videos, making it suitable for any style of learner.
Check out Your Financial Toolkit and follow the modules at your own pace!
Financial blogs, like this one, are designed to make information accessible to anyone. This means an assortment of financial blogs, like health blogs, will be following the path of the pandemic and giving us much-needed advice as events unfold. Getting started on your journey looks a bit different for everyone, but these are some great places to start.
MoneySense has a good collection of content around managing your finances and is a great place to start your journey. They have expert-written detailed articles on COVID-19 programs, credit advice, and how to build an emergency fund.
CPA Canada also has a number of topics to help you out with setting financial goals, investing, and other general finance topics.
You can view more topics on our blog here. If you’re looking for some financial influencers to follow we gathered our picks here!
Find an expert
An expert is worth their weight in gold. General financial literacy is very important, but an expert will have the knowledge to navigate challenges that many Canadians would struggle with. Pursuing financial literacy on your own will still allow you to understand the advice your expert gives you, but the expert will simply have more tools at their disposal to handle what are unprecedented circumstances.
If you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage or buying a home, a mortgage broker can help you! They are trained professionals that will work with you and your specific circumstances. We have put together a COVID-19 resources page on our website. This includes more information about changes from the banks, lenders, and government. You can find out more on the page here.
To speak with me or any other experts on our team about what this crisis means for you and your mortgage, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (705) 333-4338 or get in touch with me here!
You may not know where we’ll be when this crisis is over, but we are all in this together. In our hunt for certainty during uncertain times let’s trust our experts and take care of each other.