What Exactly Is Financial Literacy? – November 2 – Financial Literacy Q & a

November 5, 2020

Talking more about financial literacy month!

November means it’s financial literacy month! I’m doing my part to help people improve their financial literacy this November. Throughout the month I will be talking about many finance topics to help you build your financial literacy! Be sure to check out our Financial Literacy page to learn more about the topics we will cover in the month of November!

This week I’m talking with Lesley-Anne Scorgie, a Canadian author, and personal finance expert, about why financial literacy is so important!


Guest: Lesley-Anne Scorgie, Canadian author, personal finance expert, and founder of MeVest


Don’t feel like watching? Find the full transcript below!

Why is financial literacy important?

Chris: [00:00:00] November 2020 is Financial Literacy Month, an initiative by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to engage with Canadians to strengthen the financial literacy of both individuals and households. Today, I’m joined by a very special guest, Lesley-Anne Scorgie. Now, Lesley-Anne is a Canadian author, speaker, and personal finance coach. She published her first book titled Rich by 30, A Young Adults Guide to Financial Success. She’s a regular columnist in Metro News under the column Fun and Frugal. You can also find Lesley-Anne’s contributions in the Toronto Star, Global Mail, and Men’s Health magazine. So I cannot think of a better guest to join us to kick off Financial Literacy Month. Lesley-Anne, welcome.

Lesley-Anne: [00:00:51] Thank you so much for having me. And I absolutely love the timing of this conversation because Financial Literacy Month is so near and dear to my heart. It is, I think, something we can dial-up in our schools and our homes and just about in every conversation that we’re having throughout the month of November.

Talking about finance

Chris: [00:01:12] Yeah, I can agree more. And it’s interesting because I as many people know, I’m a mortgage broker and second generation mortgage broker. So I learn the business through my dad and conversations about financial literacy, were just part of what we did, my home bedroom when I was a kid, shared a wall with my dad’s office. So there was all this conversation about money and personal finance. But I think it’s a really timely conversation, especially now during the pandemic. So in your experience, in your professional experience, your professional life as a money coach, why is financial literacy so important?

Lesley-Anne: [00:01:53] It is the pivotal thing that will help someone build financial security. And let me get more specific. We actually have research that shows that financially literate and organized people are about three times more likely to achieve their financial goals than those who don’t have basic money skills and the supporting organizational structure to help them win at building financial security. So it’s about achieving goals. But I have to let you in on this other secret and you know this financially organized people also have more money.

They are more financially secure. And that’s really what we’re all trying to do, is shore up our financial security, especially amidst so much economic uncertainty. It’s in our best interest to do everything that we can to increase our knowledge and to get organized so that we can make it out the other side of this pandemic, which is quickly becoming a way of life now and succeed with our finances. It’s also about reducing stress and anxiety we know are at all-time highs right now. So adding that confidence around your financial education is so key it actually is linked to reduced levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

Improving financial education

Chris: [00:03:25] So true because when we talk about money, it’s not just the tangible or greedy aspects of money, wanting material things, we’re really talking about a state, a state of being having financial freedom, are we not?

Lesley-Anne: [00:03:40] We are. And that is all in a money mindset, which is in my career where I focused my work. And it’s also the secret sauce that I use in my own business when we’re working with our students and doing our courses in our money coach. It’s half about money mindset. And then the other half is certainly about tools and systems and methods that are going to help you succeed at building your financial confidence and literacy. But it all starts with the mindset, and the best place that somebody can start is making some efforts to get organized.

It starts with a money mindset

Chris: [00:04:19] Right, ok so I love that money mindset. It has a nice ring to it and I’m curious to find out a little bit more about that. But before we get there, what do you think is the biggest kind of hurdle that you see for most people to get started and take those first few steps towards improving their financial lives? What’s missing? Why is financial literacy in this conversation in November so important?

Lesley-Anne: [00:04:47] So I think it starts with people feeling a little bit uncertain about where to start. Let’s face it, not a lot of us had those dinner table conversations that you were. Fortunate to have at home and also in our school system, we’re actually now integrating more formalized systems of teaching financial education, but going forward, it’s going to be that combination of formal and informal learning that is going to help the next generation really understand how to manage their money well.

So why what prevents people from taking steps is usually they’re not super comfortable with what is that next step and possibly fear, because let’s face it, so many of us have learned our financial lessons the hard way. And it’s usually when you’ve encountered something, you would see it all the time. A client comes to you, they want a mortgage, and then they find out, oh, boy, I don’t have enough savings or I don’t have the income to really drive that qualification process.

Understand the tools you need

And it’s usually through those kinds of experience that people learn, which can then lead to fear. So when we look at a money mindset, we look first at targeting any threads of fear. So we actually go to the mindset first before we go to the tools because we know that if we can work on the mindset where you shift control into your own hands and that that is as simple as saying, I’m ready, I’m ready to take control, which hopefully you’ll do in the month of November, you say I’m ready.

Lesley-Anne: [00:06:32] That’s the first step. The second step is then we begin to introduce some tools and some of those tools can be as simple as, OK, well, I think I may maybe need to learn how to budget something as simple as budgeting that has previously, maybe incited fear. We try to get over that, right, We try to..

Chris: [00:07:01] Oh My gosh.

Lesley-Anne: [00:07:01] Yeah. So this is all about we always work toward mindset first. And I’m going to let you in on a bit of a secret here. When we talk about money mindset, when we talk about going and targeting that scary spot of financial fear, it does mean that the person who wants this says I am worth it is an act of self-love. It is an act of self-esteem. And so we start there and let me tell you, tools are plentiful.

Build your mindset

Chris: [00:07:43] Right

Lesley-Anne: [00:07:43] But if you can’t pivot off on that mindset to tell yourself that you’re worth this effort is going to be really hard to fix your financial literacy with any tool.

Lesley-Anne: [00:07:54] So we got there.

Emotional money problems can happen

Chris: [00:07:55] . That’s that’s brilliant. That’s brilliant, Lesley-Anne, because we see you, in my experience, dealing on the mortgage side, the purpose of arranging to finance is either to purchase a home to refinance debt. But every time it’s not just the transactional nature of it, there’s always a deeper emotional connection. And as we started asking questions about why it’s important to buy a home, why it’s important to have security, why it’s important to, why did you accumulate fifty thousand dollars, one hundred thousand dollars in debt?

Chris: [00:08:28] There’s always an emotional story tied to it. And I think what you’re expressing really gets down to the roots, the fundamental root of why money and financial literacy is important. I really appreciate that insight. Now, Lesley-Anne, let me ask you this. You have a wonderful website called MeVest. Tell me a little bit about what you do through MeVest with your different money coaching experiences and the services that you provide.

What exactly is MeVest?

Lesley-Anne: [00:09:05] Certainly. So MeVest.ca is where you want to head. And on there we have a very popular blog where we feature hot topics. This is the stuff that’s really relevant right now. It’s what’s happening to your money. So if you want to get plugged into some current financial best practices, please join us on the blog and sign up for our newsletter. But the core, the fundamentals of what we do at me best, it’s financial education. And we have two streams to do that. We have our money coaching stream, which is like working with a money therapist in the plane.

You’re going to unpack your money mindset and then you’re going to customize a plan to move forward with tools that are going to work for you, your household, your personality. So it’s very one on one, focused, customized. And then we have a very popular and growing course-based education stream. So at the front end of the pandemic, I checked my inbox in April, in fact. So we were six weeks into the pandemic and I had eighteen thousand messages. Eighteen thousand messages.

Chris: [00:10:31] Wow.

Lesley-Anne: [00:10:32] People asking for help. Knowledge, confidence, and all they wanted was some reassurance that it was going to be OK.

Supporting financial literacy

Lesley-Anne: [00:10:43] And my instinct was, well, I’m a very busy mom and I don’t have time to write all of these people back. But what I do have time for is to rethink my own business model about how we reach people and how we provide our financial education so fast. On the heels of April’s overflowing inbox, I and my small but very mighty team launched our course based platform. And I’m very proud to say that we have put a few thousand people through our courses from the month of June.

Twenty twenty-two to here we are in November and it just speaks to the need for financial education. And now we actually used it as an opportunity for us to beta test some new technologies and figure out which courses do we make for free, which ones do we make paid. And you’ll see that on the website. Now we actually have two paid signature courses and we’re always offering some free course materials for those that can’t afford to pay right now, but maybe down the road.

So right at the root of what we do, the heart of my business is what we make does get reinvested quite heavily in helping others. And I’m very proud of that business model. I’m very proud of my team and I’m very proud of the fact that I think we have some of the best courses in Canada now, which is amazing for financial literacy.

Mortgages and financial literacy go hand in hand!

Chris: [00:12:35] Fantastic. Well, I know from experience, having been connected to some of those that have been through your program on the mortgage side, because very often it leads from the coaching to the relationship with money-saving and then a desire to make a purchase to purchase a home.

[00:12:53] And and they’ve all been so well organized and well adjusted as they take that next step into home purchasing. Which is, of course, a step in the ladder of somebody’s financial life. And. Well, Lesley-Anne, I mean, it’s amazing to have you on the call. I know you’re so busy. And with your curriculum of writing and running these courses, it’s a real pleasure and honour to have you here with me and to talk to us all about the importance of financial literacy. So to wrap up the video call very quickly one more time. If somebody would like to get in touch with you, what is the best way for them to reach out?

Lesley-Anne: [00:13:34] So you can go to the website, Mevest.ca, and you can also send us an email info@mevest.ca. And of course, check out all of our social media. We have our best practices posted across those channels and the handle is @mevestmoney me.

Chris: [00:13:54] Thank you so much again, Lesley, and for sharing all that information with us.

Lesley-Anne: [00:13:57] Thanks so much.

I’m dedicated to improving my client’s financial literacy and solving hard money problems. Get in touch with confidence. Book a call directly via my calendar below, or you can get in touch with me here.


Christopher Molder

Mortgage Broker

Christopher is a mortgage broker based in Toronto, Canada. And a son of a broker too. He’s a second generation mortgage broker. Following in his father’s steps he joined the family mortgage business straight out of university.