April 20th, 2016 is Talk with our Kids About Money

Be sure to circle April 20th, 2016 on your calendar.  It is  Talk with our Kids About Money Day.

money

This day is set aside to focus on  encouraging and supporting parents, guardians, and teachers to start or continue such talks with youth. Canada’s Task Force on Financial Literacy noted that improving financial literacy was a shared responsibility, that it would be a lifelong process, and that it was important for financial education to be provided in our public schools.

Visit the Talk with our Kids About Money website here.

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8 Tips To Deal With Bank Fees

Do you ever wonder how the big banks continue to make billions of dollars, even in the ratesmost difficult economic times?

While they have made millions in interest from various personal financing tools (i.e., credit cards, loans and mortgages), investing in the markets and holding assets in the form of real estate, they easily generate profits thanks to bank fees. From debit purchases to overdrafts, banks attach fees to various products and services with the objective of making more money annually. Unfortunately, some clients are not aware of the fees that continue to drain their bank accounts.

Below are eight tips that will allow you to reduce the amount of bank fees that are debited from your account and will allow you to save more money on a month basis.

1. Find a better account

If you discover that you cannot afford to pay the fees that come along with your current account, then it is time to find another account and/ or bank. There are banks that offer low or “no-fee” accounts depending on what your needs are and the amount of money you have to deposit. Once you have assessed your needs (in terms of the amount of transactions and savings goals), you can consult the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s website where there is an account selection tool. This tool lists the various accounts and banks which you may want to switch to in the hopes of paying less in fees.

2. Reduce the number of transactions

The majority of banks attach fees to the number of the transactions that they perform for clients. If you are big fan of using your debit card for everyday purchases, maybe you should consider going back to using cash. Even though the fees are minimal, they can add up. According to recent reports, all of the Canadian banks are expected to increase their fees on debit purchases made by clients.

3. Reduce trips to bank machines associated with other banks

Banks are well known for their “convenience fee” that they charge individuals for using a bank machine, when the machine belongs to another bank. Although it’s easier and less time-consuming to use any bank with an automatic banking machine, it can be costly. The best way to avoid such costs is to withdraw enough money until you have the chance to get to your own bank. Another option is to open an account at the nearby bank where the fees are affordable.

4. Keep a minimum balance

Not knowing how much money you have in an account can cost you. Some banks can insist that you keep a minimum balance in an account or be faced with paying monthly fees. As a result, you have to keep track of the amount of money in that particular bank or transfer it to a “no-fee” account.

5. .Ask for senior accounts

Turning 60 soon? Some banks offer specific accounts that are free, or available at a reduced fee. However, you have to inquire about them at your bank. Be prepared to prove that you are, or turning 60, in order to be eligible for those accounts.

6. Obtain overdraft protection

Thinking about “insufficient funds” (NSF) charges every time you write a cheque? NSF charges can significantly threaten the amount of cash that you have in the bank on a monthly basis. In order to avoid the heavy fee on a regular basis, consider obtaining overdraft protection. Overdraft protection is a form of insurance that will allow you to pay a small fee in advance to avoid paying a larger NSF charge. Some financial institutions will apply the overdraft charge only in those months when you actually use the overdraft protection that you have invested in.

7. Go online

If you’re able to go online via a laptop, tablet or smart phone, attempt to do your banking online. Instead of going to a bank, why not conduct transactions by yourself.

8. Read your monthly statement

Are you aware of the fees that you pay per month? It is recommended that you examine the statement to see if you have been charged any extra fees and how much. Furthermore, be vigilant in terms of any new fees that you may be able to contest or ask to be waived.

Talk With Our Kids About Money Day Program: Kit for Parents or Guardians

Last week, we provided a brief overview of Talk With Our Kids About Money Day Program, a financial literacy initiative from the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education and the Bank of Montreal.

The program’s website is a hub of wealth of information and tools that we decided to log in to see what it has to offer specifically to parents or guardians.

The section is broken down into the following five segments:

  • Overview – A brief review of the TWOKAM program and what it do for parents/guardians and children.
  • Resources – A listing of practical references and tools to show how parents/guardians can teach their kids about money management. Parents/guardians can access:
    o Activities that can done in your community
    o Games to help kids learn
    o Links on the web
    o Books that have stories about money management
    o References from BMO
    o Craft ideas
    o Movies, Music & TV about money
  • Tips and Suggestions – A collection of money management advice that you can share with children.
  • Helpful Links – An extensive list of links elsewhere on the web dealing with every day issues about money.
  • Contact Us – Parents/guardians can submit their questions and comments.
  • Share Your Stories – An opportunity to share your experiences with your children when it comes to talking about money.

Below is a screenshot of the sample set of advice provided in “Tips and Suggestion” section.

TIPS

Monnaie Money Financial Literacy Video Contest 2014 Winners

On December 19th, 2014, Monnaie Money announced the winners of the 3rd Annual VC2014Financial Literacy Video Contest. The objective of the contest is to engage youth by providing a platform for them to illustrate their knowledge regarding person financial matters. The following videos were evaluated on:
1 – Originality
2 – Financial literacy message
3 – Overall presentation and relevancy to youth today

1st Place – #NoMoneyMoreProblems by Mags

2nd Place – First Job First Bank Account by JFK High School

3rd Place – Iuliu Pop & Sebastien Philemon

4th Place – Comment être financièrement responsable? By Sarah alias Double XL

5th Place – The Hundred-Dollar Studio By Liam Alexandre and Jeremy Devon

6th Place – Vidéo contest 2014 by CJS

A complete list of videos that were submitted for this year’s contest can be found at the Monnaie Money YouTube Channel and on Vimeo.

On behalf of all contest participants, Monnaie Money would like to thank the following supporting partners:

8 Things That Financial Literacy Can Do For You

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada  Several organizations across the FLM_logo_Vert_No_Date_rgbcountry are holding various events to promote the importance of financial literacy skills.   From contests to workshops, learning the basic money management skills and being aware of threats to one’s wallet in terms of fraud schemes and scams are essential.   Becoming a better money manager is an investment that you can reap the benefits in the short and long term if you are willing to acquire the necessary skills and remaining informed.

Below are 8 results that can be seen when one selects to become financial literate.

1. Know where your money is coming and going

By creating a monthly budget, you can track your cash flow. From your pay cheque or pension benefits to groceries expenses, your budget will tell you the level of surplus or debt that you must manage. This financial literacy skill will assist you in making decisions such as how much you should put aside in a savings account or reducing expenses to avoid going into further debt.

2. Control your spending

Using a credit card to go shopping can be dangerous. Credit cards can prompt you to spend money that may not have in the bank. By being aware of your access to credit and interest rates, you can control your spending knowing the short and long term consequences of going into debt. Instead of using a credit card, you may select to use your debit card or cash to shop.

3. Prepare for your financial future

Do you have plans to buy a house? Would you like to retire comfortably? The financial literacy skill of long term saving is essential. Knowing how much to save per month and types of investment tools that are available to you is a responsibility that must be taken seriously and requires discipline. For young individuals, financial literacy will instruct you to start saving and investing early to benefit from compound interest over a long period time. Middle-age individuals will have the ability to shelter their money from taxes and retired individuals should be able to reduce debt levels and better manage funds given increasing household expenses.

4. Manage your debt

One of the major needs for financial literacy is dealing with debt. From avoiding the use of debt (i.e., credit cards, personal loans, etc.) to understanding interest payments, being able to deal with debt can make life easier from a personal finance point of view.

5. Increase your awareness of potential fraud

Fraud prevention is an aspect of financial literacy. In order to protect yourself from financial fraud, it is wise to be aware of the common and prevailing approaches that fraudsters gain access to your personal and banking information. March is Fraud Prevention Month, when the Competition Bureau of Canada executes their campaign to share tips to avoid fraud of all kinds.

6. Have your money work for you

Want to have your money work for you? If so, then it is time to become more informed on the different types of investment avenues for your needs. By understanding the different options and respective their benefits and pitfalls, you can decide where to put your money to watch it grow over time.

7. How to best use credit

We all have access to credit in different forms such as credit cards, personal loans and mortgages which entails incurring debt. To avoid the difficulties that are linked to going to debt via using credit, it is best to have the skills to know the best situations to use credit and sound strategies to pay back money with the least amount of interest.

8. Understand how banks work

The majority of your money is probably is in a bank; however, do you know how your bank manages your deposits? What type of products and services that you can benefit from to help to your money to grow? By becoming more financial literate, you will be able to compare difference banks in terms of what they offer and decide to move your money to another financial institution to meet your financial goals.

Acquiring the basic financial literacy skills to avoid common money management problems is an ongoing process. Although you can gather as much information as you can from different sources and organizations, it is your responsibility to apply the practical tips to improve your financial situation for the future.

Keep informed on what is shared on Twitter regarding financial literacy, click on the hashtags, “finlit” and “financialliteracy

Selecting The Right Bank Accounts and Services As A Student

As an enrolled student, you should be on the lookout for different banks that offer discounted fees for their services. Discounted fees will permit you to keep more money in your pocket while obtain the same level of services as a regular client. A prime example is banks that offer specific accounts and services to students for the years that are spent in school.

With the various banks that a student can choose from, it is important to understand the basic accounts and services which will influence the selection of the financial institution that you will place your money in for the semesters to come.

Here are 8 financial services and related fees that banks specifically promote to studentbankstudents before every semester.

1. Monthly Bank Account Fees

All banks will offer students the ability to open an account where there are not any fees charged for basic banking services. Services may include: cheques, withdrawals (including automated banking machines), transfers, pre-authorized payments, bill payments and debit purchases. These are usually known as “unlimited debit transactions”. Check with your respective bank to see what specific fees are exempted in their offer to students.

2. Monthly Recordkeeping Fees

To maintain an accurate record of your bank account, banks may charge fees for specific recordkeeping services. Banks will assign a fee to provide paper statements, cheque images returns and passbook updates. Fees can range from $1.50 to $2.50 per month for each service. If you are already and a good manager of money and tracking your deposits and withdrawals, you may not have to use the recordkeeping services offered by your bank.

3. Online & Mobile Banking

Via a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer, banks should offer students the ability to bank online. Using these tools, it will allow you to conduct transactions at your own convenience. For example, the majority of the main banks in Canada offer you the option of making a deposit by just asking a picture of your cheque with your mobile phone. Access to online and mobile banking is free.

4. Rewards Programs

To encourage client loyalty, some banks will prompt students to enroll in rewards programs. By participating in such programs, you can eligible for discounts for anything from movies to music downloads. If such rewards programs interest you, be sure to read the fine print on the details on the offer and ask questions to your local branch manager.

5. Savings Programs

For students that have trouble saving on a regular basis, banks will assist in establishing automatic withdraw-deposit transactions. This can be very helpful when you are planning your future years in university when the cost of tuition and books are most likely to rise.

6. Access To Credit Cards

Although using credit cards maybe costly in the hands of students who may be tempted impulse shop, some banks offer to access credit cards with customized budget alerts to better manage money and promote wise spending. It is important to note that some banks will grant credit cards with a “no income” requirement which may be dangerous for students who may not have enough funds to pay credit charges when they are due. As a result, it is your responsibility to use the credit card for the purposes of your education and not your wardrobe or social life.

7. Access To A Line of Credit

To ensure that you have a sufficient amount of funds to pay your tuition, banks will offer students a line of credit to use to cover costs. A line of credit is a source of money from a bank or a level of government that must be paid back with interest. Eligible students can access this type of financing with some conditions and restrictions. Speak to a representative at your bank for more information on obtaining a line of credit for tuition purposes.

8. Loan Programs

When students are not able to obtain a bursary or a loan from the government for tuition and books, banks have loan programs which should be considered as an alternative. Depending on your needs, you can get a loan which best fit your financial status. If one bank does not offer what you are looking for, visit another bank. Do not be afraid to negotiate the best deal possible.

If you are student and in need of financial services while attending school, it is

it is recommended that you conduct research regarding what each bank offers and how you can benefit from different accounts and services for your academic future.

recommended that you conduct research regarding what each bank offers and how you can benefit from different accounts and services for your academic future.

8 Tips For Using Your Bank Machine Wisely

Tired of waiting in line at the bank to be served?   Why not take advantage of the bank bank+machinemachine? Using a bank machine to perform the routine transactions can save you a tremendous amount of time on a regular basis.   To do so, there are tips that you can follow to ensure that will make using the machine easy, safe and affordable.

1. Use Your Bank’s Machine

Although your Interac bank or debit card allows to bank at any machine, you should make it a habit to use a machine that belongs to your bank.   By using the machine that is affiliated to your bank, you can avoid paying fees associated with using another bank’s machine.   In addition, you can avoid bank card fraud by not selecting to use independent bank machines that are usually located in gas stations, depanneurs and bars.

2. Be Aware Of The Machine’s Functions

All bank machines offer the identical functions which are listed on the screen after you enter your personal identification number (PIN). If you select to use an independent bank machine that has different functions that you are not familiar with, find another machine to use.

3. Change Your PIN

It is recommended that you change your personal identification number every six to eight months to ensure bank / debit card security.   When changing your PIN, be sure to use a code that it is easy for you to remember, however; try to avoid using a series of numbers that may be easy for others to guess such as a birthday (for example 0723 = July 23), address numbers and the last four digits of a phone number.   One way to create and remember a PIN number is to create it from a word. For example, if your word is “BANK”, the PIN that you would enter on the keypad of the bank’s machine is 2-2-6-5.

4. Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

It is always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings where the bank machine is located.   The ideal surroundings to best use a bank machine is a location that is well-lighted, free of blind spots and corners and spacious enough to have the line of users a fair distance away from the machine to avoid viewing transactions in progress.

5. Budget Your Withdrawals

To avoid paying fees linked with the number of times that you take out money via the bank machine, budget your withdrawals.   If you use $80 for pocket money per month, consider withdrawing the exact amount at the beginning of the month rather than making four trips to the machine.   Each trip to the machine may cost you in terms of paying transaction fees.

6. Prepare Your Deposits Ahead of Time

Planning to make a deposit via the bank machine?   Be sure to prepare your deposits (in the form of cash or cheques) before arriving to the bank machine.   Any extra time that you spend in front of the machine will allow other individuals to view the amount of money you have going into your bank account.

7. Refuse Help

In situations that you are having difficulties with a bank machine transaction, refuse help that may be offered by strangers.   By accepting assistance, you are putting yourself at risk of having your card stolen and related information.   If you required help in any form, ask a bank representative.

8. Monitor Your Transactions

On a monthly basis, your bank sends you a statement of your banking transactions. On a constant basis, monitor the transactions made via the bank machine.   These transactions can be identified on the record by a statement that is associated with your card.   By reading the statements, you can see the amount of money going in and out of your account and how much you are paying in fees.   This will allow you to better plan on how to reduce the fees by using the machine less in the future.

Although bank machines allows you to bypass some of the hassles associated with going to a bank teller, conducting transactions using machine should lead you to be wise in terms of paying less and ensuring that your money is safe in your bank account.

S.M.A.R.T.

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Do Not Be A Target For A Scam! Identifying 6 Avenues For Fraud

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