Less than half of New Brunswick women say they feel confident when it comes to managing their finances, compared to 62 per cent of men, according to a study by the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB).
To try to even the playing field, FCNB is using Financial Literacy Month this November to encourage female consumers to gain confidence, take control of their personal finances and build good savings habits to help grow their financial resilience.
“Strong financial resiliency stems from having confidence and comfort in your financial knowledge,” said Erin King, acting director of education and communications at FCNB. “Financial Literacy Month is an opportunity for FCNB to showcase our financial literacy tools and resources and to help build New Brunswickers’ financial knowledge.”
Among these resources are a new online guide, Invest in Yourself: A woman’s guide to building financial resilience, and a 2023 wall calendar featuring monthly consumer tips to help women increase their confidence in managing their personal finances. An invitation to pre-order the calendar was sent to stakeholder organizations across the province resulting in 9,500 orders. New Brunswickers can also download a printable version of the calendar on FCNB’s website.
FCNB conducted the study to further its understanding of the systemic and societal barriers New Brunswickers, and in particular women, face to financial resilience and to develop targeted and data-based educational content.
FCNB surveyed 600 New Brunswick adults (18+) in December 2021. While the results indicated women have lower self-confidence on money matters than men, it also found that women tend to know more about finances than they think they do. Women scored only marginally lower (75 per cent earning a passing grade) than men (80 per cent) on five questions widely used to assess financial literacy.
The survey also indicated:
- 41 per cent of New Brunswick women say they feel good about their financial future compared to 57 per cent of men.
- 42 per cent of women said they are satisfied with their level of financial knowledge compared to 55 per cent of men.
- 42 per cent of women said they are knowledgeable about borrowing money compared to 60 per cent of men.
- 26 per cent of women have a written financial plan and are actively saving and investing toward it compared to 36 per cent of men.
“Regardless of the factors contributing to the discrepancy, providing free education is critical to narrowing the gap,” King said. “Women play a big role in our economy. It’s important they have the resources needed to cultivate a healthy relationship with their finances.”
In addition to the guide and calendar, FCNB has developed a new on-demand video presentation– Invest in Yourself: A woman’s guide to building financial resilience. The free presentation, which can be downloaded or streamed on FCNB.ca, is designed to educate women about the barriers they face and help them make a plan to take control of their financial future. On November 23, organizations and workplaces are invited to attend a free webinar hosted by the New Brunswick Women’s Equality Branch to learn how they can use the presentation to help promote financial resilience within their own settings.
Audio files of Erin King, acting director of education and communications at FCNB
FCNB has the mandate to protect consumers and enhance public confidence in the financial and consumer marketplace through the provision of regulatory and educational services. It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of provincial legislation regulating mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, cooperatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. It is an independent Crown corporation funded by the regulatory fees and assessments paid by the regulated sectors. Online educational tools and resources are available at www.fcnb.ca.