Money Smarts



V.P. Credit Union has created a financial education webpage called “Money Smarts” that will provide its membership with an overview of all things financial. One of the core ideals that VPCU strived for when it was founded was to provide greater financial literacy to all its members. In the spirit of the original founders of VPCU from 1944, this webpage will provide a list of upcoming financial literacy seminars that we have arranged, web article recommendations and a money saving tips FAQ section. For ease of reference, we have categorized the topic areas below. We encourage you to check back periodically for the latest updates.
 
 
Upcoming Seminars
We are currently developing seminars and will provide further updates in due course. Should you have any suggestions or recommendations on which area of focus we should explore, please email us at moneysmarts@vpcu.com

 
Essential Readings
The items below have been selected as recommended readings and reference material.
 
Canada’s Financial Literacy Blog – Source: Government of Canada
This blog contains an assortment of general articles covering budgeting and all things connected with your financial well being.

https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/news/canadas-financial-literacy-blog.html
 

Canada’s Financial Literacy Newsletter – Source: Government of Canada
These newsletters cover a wide range of financial related topics including debt management, investing and fraud prevention.

https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/news/newsletters.html
 

Money Management Blog – Source: Credit Counselling Society
The Credit Counselling Society is an accredited non-profit government registered organization that provides free advice to those require assistance with finances, debt and budget. Their blog covers many aspects of debt management.

https://www.nomoredebts.org/blog.html
 

MyMoneyCoach – Source: Credit Counselling Society
The MyMoneyCoach website is a free public service provided by the Credit Counselling Society. This website consolidates many tools, contains a comprehensive blog and also includes calendar of free webinar events that everyone can participate in.

www.mymoneycoach.ca/financial-literacy/credit-budgeting-workshop-webinars/webinar-schedule
 

Money Tips FAQs
The following FAQs are an assortment of questions that the VPCU membership have asked our staff about on a number of occasions. You might be able to find an answer to one of your burning questions here. If not, please feel free to email us at moneysmarts@vpcu.com and we would be happy to assist!

 
  1. What are the best tools to use when putting together a budget?
There are a number of budgeting tools online and through mobile phone applications today. In addition, there are plenty of budgeting tools available using the pen and paper approach. No matter, which approach you take, budgeting is all about reviewing all your expenses and your income. If you are spending more than you are earning then it is recommended you consider some tweaks to your spending habits. The link listed below is a handy budgeting tool provided by the Government of Canada.

https://itools-ioutils.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/BC-CB/NetInc-RevNet-eng.aspx

 
  1. Do you have any suggestions of useful tools to calculate mortgage payments, investment returns and retirement cash flow?
 
Yes we do! We found a website provided by the Ontario Securities Commission website to be very useful as it lists a number of calculators all one website. Please see below.

https://www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca/

 
  1. What is the real cost of a pay day loan?
Simply put, very high with an exclamation mark! Pay day loans are the most expensive form of borrowing that is available by financial service providers. The interest rates are far greater than any retail department store credit card. In addition, many pay day loan companies provide inflexible repayment options and add fees to the outstanding loan balance, which typically lengthens the repayment period for those individuals that are not diligent in keeping things on track. This further exacerbates the cost of borrowing. It is highly recommended that borrowers contact their financial institutions first to explore borrowing solutions that are most cost effective. Sometimes a debt refinancing is the optimal solution or perhaps setting up a line of credit for emergency use may be a good alternative as well.
 
The federal and provincial governments have provided good website resources that illustrate the high costs of pay day loans in comparison to other debt instruments. Please refer to the links below.

https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/loans/payday-loans.html

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/borrowing-money/expensive-loans/payday-loans
 
 
  1. Why would someone use pay loans given the high cost of borrowing?
There could be many reasons. Pay day loan companies are open all hours of the day whereas banks and credit unions are not. For some there may be personal stigma attached to approaching their financial institution. However, it is the financial institution’s fiduciary duty to discuss and review the full scope of an individual’s financial situation in order to propose effective debt management solutions. Pay day loan company representatives are not trained nor are they required to review someone’s financial situation. Pay day loan companies require very little information to grant loans and can provide the cash within minutes. In contrast, your financial institution would typically take the time to review your financial affairs in a comprehensive manner before proposing some solutions. One of these solutions may be to complete a monthly budget analysis while another solution may be to refinance all your debts outstanding. 

 
  1. What does it mean to refinance?
Refinancing simply means reorganizing all your outstanding debts by obtaining one new loan to pay all the other loan balances out. This creates much more structure and focus towards reducing your debts and depending on the type of debt you have outstanding, it may also increase your cash flow while also greatly reducing your interest costs as consolidation loan rates are typically much less than credit card or pay day loan interest rates.