November is Financial Literacy Month, and the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has provided us with some tips and tools to help us all become more financially savvy. Below are a few highlights — you can find more on www.itpaystoknow.gc.ca.

Making a Budget and Sticking to It takes you through all you need to know about budgets, including what they are, what to do before and after making a budget, and how to use the Budget Worksheet.

The Budget Calculator is an interactive tool that lets you list all your income and expenses. It will help you see where you might be able to reduce expenses in other areas (such as daily coffee or lunch purchases) to cover your additional holiday expenses.

In addition to making and sticking to a budget, look at ways to reduce the cost of paying for those additional expenses.  FCAC’s tip sheet, Be Smart with Your Credit Card, lists ways to use your card wisely.

You may want to consider alternative forms of payment like cash — sometimes this can even get you a discount.

It’s important to remember that a credit card doesn’t increase the amount of money you have available to spend. Continue to live within your means and your budget.

Remember that debit cards may also have costs associated with them. It could cost you more than $8.00 to use an automated banking machine (ABM) that is not owned by your financial institution.

For consumers who get swept up in the generous spirit of the holidays, our publication How to Beat That Debt gives tips on keeping track of your spending and how to avoid getting into more debt, as well as managing the debt you owe now.