Offers Canadians Timely Tips for Spending and Saving

    Six Simple Steps Enable Consumers to Take Control of their Finances

    TORONTO, April 29 /CNW/ -- With consumers experiencing new economic woes
on a regular basis, it has never been more important for them to fully
understand their finances. A recent survey from the Canadian Centre for
Financial Literacy showed that Canadians are in need of some schooling on the
subject, as only ten percent of those respondents claimed to be very
knowledgeable about financial basics.

    Closing this knowledge gap has gained momentum at a national level, as
the Minister of Finance recently proposed the formation of a task force with
the sole purpose of creating a cohesive national strategy on financial

    "From mortgage payments to credit card interest rates, watching over and
understanding your finances is a crucial skill that can empower you to make
well informed decisions about daily spending and saving habits," said Tom
Reid, director of Consumer Solutions for "Because credit is one
of the building blocks of your financial reputation, make sure you know where
you stand at all times by monitoring credit reports and scores regularly."
 is helping Canadians take control of their finances with
these tips:
's Tips for Improving your Financial Literacy:

    1. Know where you stand. Create a budget and keep track of your monthly
       expenses by category, including savings accounts, investments and
       various debts. At the end of the month, make a list or a spreadsheet to
       calculate how your money was spent. Review your documentation and
       which expenses are necessary and which are not.
    2. Build a strong foundation. Credit is a critical part of your finances.
       Monitoring your credit report on an ongoing basis can help you see how
       lender is likely to view your creditworthiness at any given point in
       time and can help you identify issues that you may want to address,
       including activity that may suggest the presence of fraud on your
       report. If you do spot something that doesn't look right to you,
       the creditor involved or the appropriate credit reporting company
    3. Employ yourself.  When you get your paycheck, immediately put some of
       that money into your savings accounts. Try to save at least 10 percent
       of your income each pay period.
    4. Selfishly save. Consider saving for retirement before you start saving
       for your kids' college education.  While it may seem like a moral
       dilemma, it's actually a financially responsible choice. Your children
       can get loans and scholarships for school, but you can't get loans for
    5. Live within your means. Your total housing costs should be less than 28
       percent of your gross income, and your total monthly debt payments
       should be less than 36 percent. These numbers provide a cushion while
       preventing borrowers from being trapped by too much debt.

    6. Leave home without it. For discretionary spending, if you don't have
       money to pay for it up front, make sure you'll be able to pay for it
       over time on a credit card before jumping into a purchase. Look for
       credit cards, with low interest rates and without annual fees.

    For more information about credit management, please visit

    About TransUnion
    As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion
creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering,
analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve
efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering
comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers,
TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their
credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other
efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Based in
Toronto, with global headquarters located in Chicago, Illinois, TransUnion
provides local service and support throughout Canada.  Visit
to learn more.


For further information:

For further information: Christiana Basso, +1-312-616-2471,, for

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