SAULT STE. MARIE – A national study suggests that many Canadians give themselves a fairly low grade when it comes to things like credit cards, mortgages and investments.
Greg Elsby and his team at the Credit Counselling Service of Sault Ste. Marie and Region aim to teach people how to manage their money.
He says it's a skill not all people have.
"A lot of people have a good idea as far as the basics, but there are a lot of things they're missing… a lot of expensive things," said Elsby.
A recent national study suggests that mortgage and credit card interest are two areas where people struggle the most.
"We certainly believe in credit, but you want to use it wisely, and a lot of people don't realize how much it can cost in a lot of circumstances," said Elsby.
The study also found that an overwhelming majority of Canadians believe that schools should place a greater emphasis on teaching financial literacy, and many Saultites agree.
"It would be nice to see just like a general life skill course where kids can learn about applying for student loans, or even what mortgages are… balancing cheque books, budgets, stuff like that," said a Sault Ste. Marie local.
Elsby says he and his team have already been making an effort to teach at local schools.
"It is a big topic, and there's a lot that people need to know to be as effective money managers over their life and can save them a lot of money," he stated.
Elsby says those who are looking to become more financially literate can attend his company's free sessions.
He also encourages people to come in and learn before they're in a financial crisis.