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Always Save Money
A blog by personal finance journalist Rubina Ahmed-Haq

MY PASSION: WOMEN AND FINANCIAL LITERACY


From a very young age, I can remember understanding that it’s important to take care of your money. My parents were new to Canada just starting their lives together. They had bought a house in the suburbs and were raising three kids. On top of this, they still had financial obligations to take care of ageing relatives that lived abroad.  All of this meant every cent they earned had to be spent wisely.
I remember my mom scouring the flyers for the best deal on daily essentials like milk and bread and my dad always making sure we stayed on budget.
Their efforts paid off, because of my mom and dad’s frugal ways, we could always afford to go on an annual family vacation.  My parents are big entertainers and had parties throughout the year, the highlight being a BBQ with 150 of our closest friends every August. They’ve always been the best examples for me of how to make your life work in the financial situation you’re in.
They have never tried to compete with family and friends who could afford more. They never carried unnecessary amounts of debt and have always been the first to step up to help when a loved one was in need.
I learned my own lesson about personal finance when I was in grade seven. My friend and I went to the local pizza shop to get a slice for lunch. I realized quickly that I had spent too much of my allowance the day before and would be 25 cents short for a slice. Thankfully my friend came to my rescue and spotted me the quarter, but I distinctly remember thinking I will never spend my money frivolously again. I will always save it for the things that matter. Like lunching on pizza with my girlfriends once a week.
It’s these early lessons, of saving, spending and charity that have stayed with me my whole life. I have always known how hard it is to earn money and how easy it can be to spend it.
Despite my mom playing an equal role in the household. Making money, raising kids and keeping household spending down, she has until now left all the financial decisions to her husband, my dad.  
Its only recently she has become more interested in investing her money and managing it herself.
This is one of the reasons why I’m so excited to be a part of EQ Bank’s national platform Stnce. It’s aimed at increasing women's confidence related to financial issues. Women just like my mom.  I know how good she is with money and how much she understands how to manage it. But has lacked the confidence until now to take control. I hope I can help women like her find their financial voice earlier than she did.
survey conducted by EQ Bank finds, compared to men, Canadian women are significantly less confident about their financial knowledge.
But the survey also reveals that women have a lot more financial knowledge than they admit. The study shows on a financial literacy quiz, 60 per cent of women got a high score versus 71 per cent of men. Indicating the knowledge gap between men and women is now as disparate as some might believe.
As an ambassador, I’m looking forward to connecting with women like my mom, who know it all when it comes to finance, but lack the self-confidence to put that knowledge into action.  I also want to be a role model for my 5-year-old daughter Salma.  Teaching her how important it is, just like my mother did, to take care of your money and to save when you can. But to also be charitable if your budget allows it.
Starting in early 2018, as a Stnce ambassador I look forward to meeting women (and men) to address the issues of confidence and financial knowledge with women across Canada.

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