Toronto,
29
April
2009
|
06:07 PM
America/Chicago

TransUnion.ca Offers Canadians Timely Tips for Spending and Saving

Six Simple Steps Enable Consumers to Take Control of their Finances
 
TORONTO, April 29, 2009 With consumers experiencing new economic woes on a regular basis, it has never been more important for them to fully understand their finances. A recent survey from the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy showed that Canadians are in need of some schooling on the subject, as only ten percent of those respondents claimed to be very knowledgeable about financial basics. 

Closing this knowledge gap has gained momentum at a national level, as the Minister of Finance recently proposed the formation of a task force with the sole purpose of creating a cohesive national strategy on financial literacy.

”From mortgage payments to credit card interest rates, watching over and understanding your finances is a crucial skill that can empower you to make well informed decisions about daily spending and saving habits,” said Tom Reid, director of Consumer Solutions for TransUnion.ca. “Because credit is one of the building blocks of your financial reputation, make sure you know where you stand at all times by monitoring credit reports and scores regularly.” 

TransUnion.ca is helping Canadians take control of their finances with these tips:   
 
TransUnion.ca’s Tips for Improving your Financial Literacy:
 

  1. Know where you stand. Create a budget and keep track of your monthly expenses by category, including savings accounts, investments and various debts. At the end of the month, make a list or a spreadsheet to calculate how your money was spent. Review your documentation and decide which expenses are necessary and which are not. 
  2. Build a strong foundation. Credit is a critical part of your finances. Monitoring your credit report on an ongoing basis can help you see how a lender is likely to view your creditworthiness at any given point in time and can help you identify issues that you may want to address, including activity that may suggest the presence of fraud on your report. If you do spot something that doesn’t look right to you, contact the creditor involved or the appropriate credit reporting company directly.  

3.   Employ yourself.  When you get your paycheck, immediately put some of that money into your savings accounts. Try to save at least 10 percent of your income each pay period.  

 

  1. Selfishly save. Consider saving for retirement before you start saving for your kids’ college education. While it may seem like a moral dilemma, it’s actually a financially responsible choice. Your children can get loans and scholarships for school, but you can’t get loans for retirement. 

  2.  

5.       Live within your means. Your total housing costs should be less than 28 percent of your gross income, and your total monthly debt payments should be less than 36 percent. These numbers provide a cushion while preventing borrowers from being trapped by too much debt.  


  1. Leave home without it. For discretionary spending, if you don’t have the money to pay for it up front, make sure you’ll be able to pay for it over time on a credit card before jumping into a purchase. Look for credit cards, with low interest rates and without annual fees.


    For more information about credit management, please visit www.transunion.ca.  
 

About TransUnion

 

As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Based in Toronto, with global headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois, TransUnion provides local service and support throughout Canada. Visit www.transunion.ca to learn more.