Taking Financial Ownership

Sometimes we need a kick in the $$$

Written by stnce, in partnership with Paper & Coin

When’s the last time your bank made you feel truly confident about your finances?

EQ Bank – a digital bank launched by Equitable Bank –  has set out to accomplish just that with stnce, their financial confidence initiative aimed at Canadian women. What began as an idea to build a financial literacy program within the Bank has grown into a grassroots movement with a mission to inspire women to confidently take control of their finances.

Reducing the gap in financial confidence

Kim Kukulowicz, Senior Vice President at Equitable Bank, and Founder of stnce, had this to say about financial confidence:

“Financial confidence is important because once you become confident in one thing, it opens doors for you to become confident in others. It motivates you to talk to your friends and colleagues. It inspires you to teach your children. You’re more willing to grow and take on new challenges once you’ve accomplished something and pushed yourself further than you thought you could go.”

The research that led to stnce’s inception was a source of some incredibly interesting findings. The most telling? The knowledge gap between women and men when it comes to finances is not as expansive as was originally assumed. The real key gap between women and men? Confidence. Respondents were given five financial knowledge questions to answer. Every single woman answered at least four out of five correctly, but when asked how they felt about their responses, not one indicated a feeling of confidence. This sobering discovery led to stnce’s mission statement; to inspire women to confidently take ownership of their finances, through open and informative conversations.

stnce officially launched in November 2017, and has grown exponentially since then. In January 2019, Kukulowicz appointed Sarah Zandbergen as the Senior Program Specialist to bring the program to the next level. “For me, stnce is really about building an engaged community of like-minded individuals,” says Zandbergen. “Talking about money shouldn’t be taboo. Finances are such an intrinsic part of all of our lives, so why should the topic be off-limits? Our aim is to provide a safe space to have those conversations, make those connections, and grow financial confidence.”

Committed to teaching and talking about money

The emphasis on confidence is not to overshadow financial knowledge, an integral part of stnce. At the heart of the movement is stnce.ca, the financial resource hub, where their educational and inspirational articles reside. “We find many women are intimidated when it comes to asking questions. We’re working hard to make financial resources available at the click of a mouse. Building up that knowledge base on your own time can truly increase your confidence level going forward.” Growing the community is Zandbergen’s number one focus, and her passion is palpable. “I am beyond proud to work at a bank that supports something so important. Our President and CEO, Andrew Moor, has given stnce his full support for growing the community and making it a priority within the company.”

Among stnce’s offerings are an “Ask an Expert” column, regular content from financial experts, Op-Eds focusing on career, confidence, and finance, book and podcast recommendations, and events to bring the community together. Resource sharing is an important focus for stnce in order to give Canadian women access to expertise, advice, inspiration, and support. “Something that strikes me is the hesitation I see in women to discuss finances with their partners, especially married couples,” says Zandbergen. “It can be difficult to bring up, no question, but if you’re sharing your life with someone, finances are bound to come up. I’m a big believer in fairness, but there also needs to be clarity. A staggering statistic we came across in our research was that 90% of women will be the sole financial decision maker in their family at some point in their lives. Knowing this, there is absolutely no excuse to defer ownership to someone else.”

Save money with control and confidence

The backing of EQ Bank is a tremendous strength for stnce. The benefits of the EQ Bank Savings Plus Account—a no-fee account with a 2.30%* everyday interest rate, no minimum balance, and unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers ®—make it a no-brainer for anyone trying to grow their savings. This no promo rate, no strings attached approach has proven successful for EQ Bank, which has grown beyond their original projections in just three short years. They are the first bank in Canada to be born in the mobile world, and in 2019, this is an incredible advantage for Canadian consumers.

To learn more visit stnce.ca, and join the conversation

*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.

This article was originally posted on PAPERANDCOINMAGAZINE.COM

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