(TORONTO, ON) – Parents struggle talking to their kids about a few topics: sex, death and money. We can’t help you with the first two, but money is right up our alley!
Wednesday, April 16th is ‘Talk With Our Kids About Money Day’; a day sponsored by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education and The Bank of Montreal to help parents and teachers have a conversation with their children and students about money.
Conversations about money can be extremely stressful for adults as they question; “Am I doing this right?” and “What should I say?” In fact, studies show that 78% of parents have tried to teach their kids about money, but 66% of them say they need more help.
Jeffrey Schwartz, Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., says parents shouldn’t shy away from the topic:
“It is our responsibility to teach our kids about money – even if it makes us uncomfortable”, advises Schwartz. “Simple activities like making a budget, giving an allowance, and including kids in financial decisions will go a long way in making the next generation of Canadians financially responsible”.
Children are not going to pick up good financial habits on their own. They need guidance from the adults in their lives. Consolidated Credit believes good financial habits are instilled throughout childhood.
“Monkey see. Monkey do. Kids are constantly learning how to act from their parents and teachers – and that includes how to deal with money. ‘Talk With Our Kids About Money Day’ is a great opportunity to teach kids about knowing when to save, and when to spend”, adds Schwartz
To help get the conversation rolling, Consolidated Credit offers these tips:
· Make the conversation fun – Kids are going to tune out if they feel they are being lectured to. Present the topic in an interesting way and your kids won’t get distracted. Are they looking forward to camp this summer, or a special dress for their prom? Talk about ways you can budget together to make special expenses more affordable.
· Discuss topics kids can relate to – Starting the chat by discussing the intricacies of RRSP’s and government pensions will be met with blank stares. Instead, focus on things that impact your children’s lives. Cell phones, school supplies, sports equipment and bus fare are great conversation starters.
· Wants vs. needs – Teach your kids that some things are necessary, and some things aren’t. Have your kids been bugging you for money to download Pharrell’s latest album or some new game for their tablet? Teach them how frugal choices for “needs” such as lunch or bus fare will leave them with extra funds for these “wants”. This type of exercise will help provide the tools they need to make smart financial decisions in the future.
Parents and teachers have a great opportunity tomorrow to sit down with young Canadians and talk about money. The foundation for lifelong financial success begins in childhood, and resources such as Talking Money with Your Kids, and Managing Your Money: Why It’s Important to Start Young are great tools to help your kids build a healthy financial future.
For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
Eric Spence, Public Relations Coordinator, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. (B) 416.915.7283 ext. 1041 (C) 416.731.5588 or [email protected].