November is Financial Literacy Month, which means lots of talk about what people need to know about money. I’d rather show you than tell you.
Over the past few years, the Globe and Mail graphics team and I have collaborated on a series of online financial tools to help our readers work through life’s biggest financial moments. To mark FinLit Month, we’ve gathered them together into one convenient package called Calculate Your Life.
Our calculators and worksheets cover home buying, setting financial goals as a recent graduate, building a tax-free savings account, finding a good financial adviser and retirement planning. These tools reflect some of the things I’ve learned about people and money in my 21 years as Globe personal-finance columnist (my first column was published on Oct. 22, 1998).
For example, I’ve seen how people struggle to figure out how much house they can afford. That’s why the Real Life Ratio calculator attacks affordability in a different way than you’ll find on the typical bank website.
Speaking of banks, you’ll probably hear from them and other financial firms during FinLit Month. They’re trying to be good citizens in the personal-finance universe, but you have to remember that their main goal is to sell financial products. Always be mindful of the potential conflicts when a person or company provides you with advice on money while also trying to sell you mortgages, lines of credit,…