The annual Reach a Reader event is coming up soon.

Literacy campaign Reach a Reader launches

Community leaders will join the Nelson Star, Kootenay Savings Credit Union and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy on Oct. 7, 8, and 9.

Community leaders and volunteers will join the Nelson Star, Kootenay Savings Credit Union and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy on Oct. 7, 8, and 9 to raise awareness about the importance of literacy and to celebrate the power literacy has in the region.

The fifth annual Reach a Reader campaign will raise funds for local community-based literacy programs.

Why literacy? Statistics indicate that up to 45 per cent of BC’s adult population has difficulty with some daily living tasks — due in part to limited literacy skills. These include reading this newspaper, filling out an application form, reading a map, or understanding a lease.

“Literacy is not just the ability to read or write,” says Desneiges Profili, regional program manager for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy. “

People today must be able to fill out online materials, service agreements, job applications, and use social media. Through our Reach a Reader campaign, we hope to increase awareness of literacy needs in our community and raise funds to support the literacy programs and services available for children, families, adults, and seniors.”

In Nelson funds will help support the Learning Place, a space that houses literacy programs for families, adults, seniors and new Canadians. In Kaslo funds will be used for financial literacy programs. In the Slocan Valley proceeds will help fund Book Under Every Tree, which provides new books for children receiving food hampers from W.E. Graham Community Service Society at Christmas. In Salmo funds will support the Community Learning Place located at the community centre.

You can support the Reach a Reader campaign by making a donation in exchange for a special edition of the Nelson Star. Volunteers will be on the street with papers in hand at the following locations:

• Nelson – Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ward and Baker streets, Oso Negro, the Nelson Public Library and the Nelson and District Community Complex

• Salmo – Oct. 7 from noon to 2 p.m., downtown.

• Kaslo – Oct. 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Front St.

• Slocan Valley – Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kootenay Savings in South Slocan.

You may also donate online at cbal.org.

To learn more about community-based literacy programs in the region contact Desneiges Profili, at dprofili@cbal.org or go to cbal.org.

Increase your financial literacy

Maria Kruchen

Kootenay Savings MoneyWorks

When it comes to personal finance, too many people wander aimlessly with very little awareness how their spending habits today will affect their future. Setting goals is very powerful and rewarding simply because it sets a foundation for future success and a strategy to achieve it.

Many people skip this important step in their path to financial independence or retirement.

Some attempt to set goals but may not do it properly. Skipping goal setting can certainly still lead to success but maybe success by chance instead of choice. On the other hand, setting goals can increase the likelihood of success because it starts a plan. Remember the old saying “People who fail to plan, plan to fail?”

One of the challenges in the world of personal finance is it’s such a big space. Financial planning can mean so many different things, such as:

• Debt management – How to reduce, manage and pay down your debts like mortgage, credit cards, lines of credit. Which ones should you tackle first?

• Saving money – How much should you save? Is it better to use RRSPs or TFSAs? When do you have enough?

• Tax planning – It’s not how much you make that counts but rather how much you keep after tax that makes all the difference.

• Retirement planning – When do you want to retire? Can you retire? Do you have a plan for retirement?

• Estate planning – Do you have a will? An enduring power of attorney? Have you thought about what will happen if you die or become disabled?

• Risk management – Are you protected from financial disaster? Do you have enough life insurance or disability coverage?

• Investing – Do you know what you are investing in? Do your investments line up with your goals?

• Saving for children’s education – Are you utilizing RESPs? Have you looked at other ways to save?

Take a snapshot of where you are right now. Recognize your areas of strength and weakness and establish your goals around them.

Develop an action plan; goals cannot be met without action. It may be easier to break down your goals into smaller milestones and make adjustments as necessary.

Achieving goals starts with finding a balance between setting goals that can be accomplished while still allowing you to live the life you want right now.

What is really important to you? Do your goals match your values? Is building up a savings account important or is paying down debt more important to you? Your goals belong to you and no one else. Ensure they reflect what you want, not your neighbour, coworker or extended family members.

And remember, it’s never too late or too early to start planning.

 

 

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