TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2011) - To mark Financial Literacy Month, which was launched by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, BMO is releasing a series of financial tips throughout November. As part of Making Money Make Sense and BMO SmartSteps, the tips are designed to help individuals and families save and manage their day to day finances more effectively.
BMO's Tip of the Day: Have an emergency fund that is equal to three-to-six months of your income set aside for a 'rainy day'.
- More than 40 per cent of Canadians are not prepared, or unsure if they are able, to handle their financial obligations in the event of an emergency
- Based on a net annual income of $50,000, setting aside approximately $200 per week in a high-interest savings account would provide a dependable rainy day fund.
"The general rule of thumb is to have an emergency fund set aside that is equal to three to six months of your income to use for unexpected household expenses," said Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal.
Ms. McVey added that taking advantage of high-interest savings tools can help Canadians reach their rainy day savings goal faster. BMO offers the BMO Smart Saver Account, a high interest savings account that allows for unlimited deposits and transfers into the account, one free self-serve debit transfer each month via online, ABM or phone, and free access to BMO MoneyLogic™ - an online personal financial management tool to help track everyday expenses.
BMO Financial Literacy Month Tips
November 1: Pay more than the minimum payment on a credit card balance.
November 2: Choose a shorter amortization for your mortgage.
November 3: Contribute to a child's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) as early as possible.
November 4: Invest in a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to maximize your savings.
November 7: Switch to weekly mortgage payments to save interest and become debt-free faster.
November 8: Take advantage of credit card travel insurance to lower costs.
November 9: Start early and contribute often to your investment account, rather than waiting to invest.
November 10: Use a line of credit to consolidate high-interest debt and save on interest costs.
November 14: Canadians can give the gift of securities and benefit at tax time.
November 15: Students, pay off your credit card balances and take advantage of student discounts to save money.
November 16: Pay an extra five per cent on your mortgage every year to reduce interest costs.
November 17: Secure your retirement by starting to save early and taking advantage of compounding growth.
November 18: Students can save money by ensuring they are in a no-fee student banking plan.
November 21: The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a powerful investment option that can offer long-term financial security for persons living with a disability.
November 22: Maximize your Old Age Security (OAS) benefits by adopting the right tax strategies.
November 23: Stress-test your mortgage to ensure your housing costs are affordable.
November 24: Take advantage of Canada's numerous online personal finance resources.
November 25: Consider taking out a loan to maximize your contribution to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and take advantage of the tax benefits.
November 28: Consolidate your purchases under a single rewards program.
For more on financial literacy, BMO encourages Canadians to visit http://www.financialliteracymonth.ca/ and http://www.bmo.com/home/about/banking/corporate-responsibility/customers/financial-literacy.