“Since I graduated from high school, not one person has asked me to find the value of X.” We hear this comment all the time, and it’s generally meant as a joke, but it echoes what many think about our education system – that it’s a bit heavy on things that aren’t “real life” important, and light on things that are.
Take the subject of financial literacy, for example. It’s one that hasn’t received the attention many think it should. Topics that become vital in adult life – like the use of credit, or the importance of saving – are ones many students receive little guidance on in high school, until they’re forced to learn about them the hard way - through experience. Fortunately, we’re seeing some provinces take action to improve this. For instance, Ontario is rolling out a pilot project to introduce a financial literacy course in 28 high schools, with hopes that a full course will be available province wide in September 2018.
Most other provinces are also making efforts to improve children’s know-how in this area. But in the meantime, there are plenty of ways you can help your children become more financially literate – no matter how old they are. Here are a few links with great ideas on how to introduce your children to good financial habits:
Canadian Living published this piece on the dos and don’ts of teaching kids about money: http://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/money-and-career/article/the-dos-and-don-ts-of-teaching-your-kids-about-money
Here’s a great online resource created by the Manitoba Securities Commission, called “Make It Count.” It’s got a few activities and tips that help kids incorporate money management into their daily routines.
Finally, this page on the Investor Education Fund’s website is devoted to financial education when raising a family. There are some resources on this page with content related to teaching teenagers about financial literacy.
Helping your kids learn these concepts when they’re still kids can pay significant dividends down the road. If you have any questions about any of the tips or techniques in these links, please get in touch with me any time.