Don’t Believe Everything You Read

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Every day on television, in the newspaper, at bus stops and on billboards, Canadians are exposed to advertisements from banks and credit unions. We don’t really think about them when we see it… It is just another advertising message, blending in with the rest.

But is it really?

In almost every one of these advertisements, there is a “hidden message”. It isn’t actually hidden from view, but it becomes a subconscious lesson. Nearly every bank advertisement positions the bank, credit union, or financial institution as the expert – not a big deal, if you’re trusting them with your money they should be experts.

Almost every advertisement says, they are the experts – and you need their help. Finance is confusing, difficult, and hard. Saving and investing are even more difficult. Without the banks to rely on, you would never achieve any kind of financial stability.

Now, we may not notice it when we walk past the billboard or see the ad in the newspaper. We may not even actually see the ad – but it’s effects stick with us.

We feel disempowered with our own money. We can’t just “manage” our money, banks do that. We think, they are the experts, and without their guidance we’ll lose everything. We say, tt is best to leave everything about our finances to the banks.

And we lose confidence in our own ability to manage, communicate, and take part in our finances.

Now, you could say this is a conspiracy theory and they’re just out to get everyone, but we all know that simply isn’t true. The banks are good at doing one thing – making money operating a bank. To do that, they need you to use their services. So they convince you that you simply cannot do anything without them.

The truth is, you can manage your money on your own.

You can read financial reports and make investing decisions.

You can create a household budget, including a contribution to your savings, and stick with it.

You can plan for the future while managing your day-to-day financial life, all on your own.

The bank is a source of information, tools, and services that are all valuable. We should all feel empowered to use what they make available to choose our own financial path, rather than allowing them to choose it for us.

What do you think? Share in the comments!

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