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Financial Literacy Month & Financial Planning Week-BMO's Tip of the Day: A Financial Plan that Includes an Emergency Fund Can Help You Plan for Tomorrow and Avoid Debt

- Set aside an emergency fund that is equal to three to six months of your income

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/24/12 -- To mark Financial Literacy Month and Financial Planning Week (November 19th - 25th), BMO Financial Group is releasing a series of financial tips. As part of BMO's commitment to 'Making Money Make Sense', the tips are designed to help individuals and families save and manage their day-to-day finances more effectively.

BMO's Tip of the Day: Creating a financial plan, which includes an emergency fund, can help ensure you are prepared for tomorrow's unforeseen expenses and avoid incurring high interest debt.

Many Canadians budget and have a financial plan for their day-to-day finances and savings goals. However, unexpected costs such as car repairs, major purchases or going over your budget for the holidays could leave you short on cash. BMO reminds Canadians to build an emergency fund into their financial plans.

"The general rule of thumb is to have an emergency fund set aside that is equal to three to six months of your income to use for unexpected expenses," said Marlena Pospiech, Senior Manager, BMO Wealth Planning Group, BMO Financial Group. "Creating a budget and a financial plan you can live with is key to ensuring you don't get in over your head."

Ms. Pospiech notes that, for those already in debt, it is easy to feel discouraged. To help close the gap between achieving financial freedom and debt, she encourages Canadians to begin the process of identifying exactly how much comes in, how much needs to go out and what expenses can be cut.

"CFEE commends BMO's ongoing efforts to support Financial Literacy in Canada and promote ways in which Canadians can increase their competence and confidence when managing their personal finances on a day-to-day basis," said Gary Rabbior, President, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE).

To learn more about how financial planning can help you feel confident about your future or to contact a financial planner visit www.bmo.com/savingandinvesting or call 1-888-389-8030.

BMO Financial Literacy Month Tips

November 1: Maximizing TFSA investments annually over 20 years can save nearly $30,000 in taxes.

November 2: Utilize rewards to squeeze the most value out of every dollar you spend this holiday season.

November 3: Choose an investment advisor who is right for you and will help you meet your financial goals.

November 4: Use your RRSP to help make the down payment on your first home.

November 5: Space out payments to avoid cash-flow problems.

November 6: Take advantage of the benefits of preferred shares.

November 7: Consider investing in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and taking advantage of tax incentives when saving for retirement.

November 8: Take advantage of Canada's numerous online personal finance resources.

November 9: Before you head off on your winter vacation, be sure you and your family are properly covered in the event of a medical emergency.

November 10: Understand what you can hold in your RRSP.

November 11: Stick to the one-third rule when planning the purchase of a home.

November 12: Secure your retirement by opening a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) as early as possible and contribute to it on a regular basis.

November 13: As couples prepare for their wedding day, they should have "The Financial Talk" to help the transition from "my money" to "our money."

November 14: Using a combination of a credit card, debit card and cash will give you convenience, security and flexibility when you travel or shop in the United States.

November 15: Give the gift of securities and benefit from tax savings.

November 16: To stay on track to reach your financial goals, keep a well-diversified investment portfolio.

November 17: Take advantage of spousal RRSPs.

November 18: Take advantage of credit cards that offer affordable emergency medical travel insurance.

November 19: Parents-to-be should consider their financial situation before the Big Day.

November 20: Use the tax refund generated by your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contribution to pay down your mortgage.

November 21: Save for your child's education by investing monthly Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) cheques in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

November 22: Save for your child's education by encouraging friends and family to contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) this holiday season.

November 23: Bringing your lunch to work can help you save for retirement.

For more on financial literacy, Canadians can visit the Government of Canada's Financial Literacy Month website, as well as BMO's Financial Literacy online resource.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Contacts:
Media Contacts:
Rachael McKay, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
rachael.mckay@bmo.com

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com

Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia

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