They say, “more money, more problems” but try telling that to the 50 percent of Canadians living paycheque to paycheque, and the 48 percent of Canadians that are just $200 away from being broke. Thankfully, mindfulness on personal finance is growing in our country, and Credit Education Week Canada (CEWC) has been a big part of that growth.
With the support of financial literacy leaders, themes, events, and sponsors working with CEWC, we’ve devised a smart and fun way to look at how we're spending our money and how we can spend it more wisely.
This year’s CEWC theme is “money mindfulness.” Maybe you yourself are actually practicing more mindfulness in your day-to-day life. If so, now's a great time to apply those same principles to the way you spend and manage your money.
Studies show mindfulness has its benefits
Scientific studies show increasing mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. These moments of clarity and focus help us slow our minds down and calm our nervous system. In this state of mind, really great things can happen.
So many of us rush through life trying to find the balance between professional and personal obligations. But if we focus only on surviving—racing from one thing to the next, trying to get everything done—we're left with little-to-no time to create improvements in our lives. If this is the way we choose to live our lives, there’s a very good chance we’ll miss solutions and opportunities that could be staring at us right in our faces!
Mindfulness anchors awareness in the present moment, where thoughts and emotions can emerge and subside naturally without resistance. This not only allows us to be more forgiving with ourselves and compassionate towards others, but it also creates a sense of space and calm, which lets us see things as they truly are—not filtered by our own thoughts, prejudices, and past experiences. This includes ideas and beliefs that might have been passed down to us by our parents, siblings and friends, including our thoughts about money.
Being more mindful can also provide us with insight into unconscious psychological processes and habits that make for unrealistic, self-defeating behaviour, especially when it comes to our personal financial growth.
But what can being more mindful about money really do?
Mindfulness can play an important role in personal financial planning, budgeting, and goal-setting—especially for those facing chronic debt problems and have a less-than-perfect relationship with money.
Being more mindful about money creates the space you need to break free from old habits and thoughts that no longer serve you and help you progress toward goals like:
- Getting out of debt
- Saving for a down payment
- Funding your child’s post-secondary education
Being more mindful about money starts with being present and observing the thoughts and behaviours you have around money, spending and finances. Think of it as a meditative approach to exerting mind over money with the help of financial literacy skills that can ultimately make our households and communities stronger.
The second step is to take positive action, and that’s where CEWC comes in.
CEWC events happening November 13-16
As always, CEWC will be taking its message to all Canadians as it kicks off Financial Literacy Month this November. There are a number of workshops and special events happening across the country. For a full roster of events, please visit cewc.ca.
CEWC Annual Essay Contest
Every year, CEWC hosts a national essay contest where Grade 12 students are asked to share their story on the dumbest thing they ever did with their money, and what they learned from it.
Over 20 winners receive scholarship prizes ranging from $500 to $5,000!
Each winner will have the opportunity to attend the CEWC Dinner Gala on November 14, hosted in Toronto, where they can personally receive their scholarship from their sponsor, as well as rub elbows and network with our country’s top financial industry leaders and high profile corporate sponsors.
The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship for their post-secondary studies, and will attend the CEWC Dinner Gala, during which they will read their winning essay to Gala guests.
The deadline for essay contest submissions has been extended to Tuesday, October 16th, so submit your entries soon! Entries must be written in English or French and cannot exceed 1000 words. Students are encouraged to be creative and funny.
Click here to learn more about the CEWC national essay contest and to submit your entry.
Professional Development Day, November 13
If you are in or near Toronto on November 13, you won't want to miss Professional Development Day! This event will be held from 8:30am-1:30pm. It’s a free event where guests will hear from today’s leaders in personal finance and enjoy a complimentary light breakfast and full (tasty) lunch.
This year’s keynote speaker for Professional Development Day is columnist and best-selling author, Gordon Stein, whose book Cashflow Cookbook delivers mouth-watering, money-saving recipes that leave readers wanting more. If you’ve ever wondered how you can increase your monthly budget by a few hundred bucks, the Cashflow Cookbook is your go-to.
Professional Development Day will also feature celebrated author and financial planner Shannon Lee Simmons. Her best-selling book, Worry-Free Money has taken Canada by storm thanks to her cheeky, refreshing, and altogether very wise advice, which she delivers with a side of sass. Simmons is smart, funny, witty, animated and doesn’t hold back. If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing her speak, this is your chance!
Professional Development Day is a free event open to everyone, and celebrated Toronto Star columnist, Ellen Roseman will be the Master of Ceremony. Sign up here ahead of time to reserve your seat!
CEWC Dinner Gala, November 14
Every CEWC is highlighted by the CEWC Dinner Gala, held at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The Dinner Gala is a premier event for top financial industry leaders, professionals, financial education institutes, as well as consumer advocates.
CTV News anchor, Pat Foran will be hosting the evening with keynote speaker, comedian and CBC star, Gerry Dee (Gerald Donoghue) from the CBC hit series, Mr. D, who will be delighting guests with his take on financial literacy and what it means to be more mindful with your money.
The evening will also feature CEWC Essay Contest winners who will be accepting their scholarships from their respective sponsors, followed by the Grand Prize Winner reading their winning essay to Dinner Gala guests, which is always a highlight.
Money mindfulness is more than just thinking about your money and spending; it’s about the practice of being more mindful of all the things that contribute to your overall financial health. All Canadians are encouraged to participate in CEWC and get more mindful with their money.