Written for Mediaplanet‘s 2014 Financial Literacy campaign.

Published in September 2014 for online and print. 

When it comes to figuring out personal finances, between the bills and the budget, it can be hard to make sense of it all.

“There is a view that money is a scary issue and my role is to make sure people understand that there are simple steps they can make to help them manage their finances,” says Jane Rooney, Canada’s first Financial Literacy Leader.

Appointed in April, Rooney works with the public, private and non-profit sectors to improve financial literacy — translating fear of finance into understanding, skills, and confidence — to help Canadians make responsible decisions with their money.

At the beginning of 2014, nearly half of Canadians surveyed planned to get financially fit this year, according to TransUnion. However, by February, Canadians remained on track for record highs of personal debt — accumulated from a combination of factors, including lines of credit, car loans, and credit cards.

Read full story here.