November was Financial Literacy Month, and to celebrate we teamed up with TikTok creator Naomi Leanage for our second annual #FinTalks campaign to make financial literacy fun and accessible for Canadians wondering how to get started. This three-part series aimed to empower youth to make healthy financial choices when budgeting, saving and investing.
We asked Naomi about her experience and the things she learned through this campaign.
What is the top thing you've learned during Financial Literacy Month? Did anything surprise you as you worked on this series?
I was surprised to find how easy it is to budget with the free resources available online, such as the budget creation tool on the Desjardins website! I've avoided budgeting for so long because I was naive enough to think it'd require me to use two of my least favourite things... my high school math skills and Excel.
It was also great to learn and understand that making a budget doesn't mean you're living life under strict spending rules. It's all about balance and being smarter with your spending while understanding exactly where your money is going.
Why do you think it's important for youth to build healthy financial habits?
Healthy financial habits help to create less stress and anxiety in your life which a lot of youth have and deal with these days. So why not ensure there's one less thing to worry about in life? I went through most of my twenties with the motto "money comes and goes," and didn't really give a second thought to healthy financial habits like saving and investing. Only now am I realizing just how important those habits are and the earlier you start the better it is of course. It's refreshing to know that it's never too late to begin, but if I could tell my younger self one thing it would be to start saving, even if it's as little as a dollar a day.
How do you feel about the reaction to this campaign? Were you surprised to see the level of interest from your followers?
My personal favourite was the "What I spend in a day" video. I actually love watching these types of videos on TikTok since I'm so curious and interested to know how other people my age or in my city are spending their money. I think it was entertaining but also educational for a youth audience which is of course the best kind of content!
What's your most actionable piece of advice to someone who may be just getting started?
Don't be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. I find that doing research on your own can be very overwhelming since there's so much information from so many different sources online. Whether it’s a parent, a friend who's good with their money, or a professional such as a financial advisor, talking to someone and expressing your interest in building your personal finances is a much easier way to be directed to the right resource and get your immediate questions answered. They've probably been in the same position as you since everyone has to start somewhere!
And when it comes to getting started with a more complex habit like investing, taking the time to learn more (i.e., reviewing the Desjardins Investing 101 article) before diving in can be beneficial in helping you identify your goals and what matters most when it comes to your finances.
While Financial Literacy Month may be over for 2021, it’s important to build healthy financial habits all year long. Check out any of the below resources for more information and keep an eye out for future #FinTalks content!
- Budget: How to avoid pitfalls
- 3-step savings plan
- Investing 101: Understanding how to better grow your money
- Desjardins Budgeting Tool