Financial Literacy in Decline

By Andrew Rickard | November 10 2015 02:14PM

The number of Canadians who consider themselves financially literate has declined, and even those who claim to be financially savvy are mismanaging their money.

A poll conducted by the Credit Counselling Society (CCS) shows that the number of people who consider themselves financially literate has dropped from 67% to 60% over the last year.

Despite the fact that most Canadians believe they are capable of managing their financial affairs, the survey reveals that many continue to make foolish decisions. In particular, 59% of the respondents who claim to be "highly financially literate" are carrying credit card balances. While 72% of those with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more also claim to be highly financially literate, half of them do not have a budget.

The CCS suggests that this disconnect between perceived financial acumen and actual behaviour is an indication that more needs to be done to bridge the financial literacy gap.

"The majority of Canadians still consider themselves financially literate, but our survey indicates that some Canadians are starting to realize that they don't know as much about personal finances as they thought," comments CCS president Scott Hannah. "Canadians are recognizing there's still much to learn in terms of their own financial literacy, which is why initiatives like Financial Literacy Month are so important."