November is Financial Literacy Month

Debunking myths about low income and money management


​Financial literacy is not only important for financial well-being, it’s also important for the overall economy. Knowing the basics of money management is just as essential today as numeracy and literacy, says the Government of Canada.

One of the common myths of basic income is that those living in poverty continue to be in poverty because they don’t know how to properly manage their money. Critics claim basic income would be useless in helping low income poeple rise about the poverty line because they don’t know how to budget.

MYTH: People are poor because they don’t know how to manage their money

People living in poverty can be the best money managers. Living on a shoestring budget forces people to make smart decisions about how they should be spending their cash. Not having enough money to pay for basic needs like food, housing, and electricity forces people to make tough decisions about what they’re willing to sacrifice.

Hugh Segal was quoted in an article in the Globe and Mail saying, “They say that poverty is complex. I say: Well, it’s not. The actual reality is [that these families] don’t have enough money to pay for clothes, heat, an apartment, and transportation. There’s this notion they’re all sitting at home with bon-bons watching the soaps — 70 percent of Canadians beneath the poverty line have jobs. They just don’t earn enough to meet cost of living.”

A basic income would give people financial security and freedom to decide how they should spent their money.

Financial Empowerment Resources

Drop-In Services, Community Financial Counselling Services
Manage Your Money Workshops, SEED Winnipeg
Access to Benefits, SEED Winnipeg
Get Your Benefits, Winnipeg Harvest
Access to Benefits, Society for Manitobans with Disabilities
Financial Empowerment, Prosper Canada

Basic Income in the News

Economic analysis of child benefit bolsters case for national basic income – The Star
Corporate tax cuts no answer to India’s economic ill, Nobel laureate Esther Duflo – Business Today
A Californian city gave some residents $500 a month, no strings attached. Here’s how they spent it – Vox
It’s time for politicians to take food insecurity and poverty seriously – The Star

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