A good financial education takes some planning!

Posted Thursday, March 17th, 2011. Filed Under Financial Empowerment

This is a wonderful article in the National Post talking about how the “Piggy bank lessons” of our childhood don’t cut it anymore.

This young woman, Stacey Bowman, knew growing up she can talk to her parents just about everything. However, when it came to her university (that would be equivalent to college in the US) education, it was a different story.

She says, “they would sit down and talk to me about the birds and the bees, but when it came to investments, no. For me, and a lot of people [financial literacy growing up] was more osmotic than anything. I understood money had value, but I never had a sit-down conversation with them about these things. I just didn’t listen. If my parents had said to me when I was 14, ‘Why don’t you open up a GIC?’ I probably would’ve done that”.

What it brings to light is so many issues. First of all, we only teach what we know and for many Canadians (actually most of the world population) we do not fully understand our finances. We are making decisions that are not necessarily in our best interest for today or our future. We live in the moment in the sense – buy today, enjoy and worry later. Well, later for many came with the downturn of the market. Some to the point that they lost their homes, jobs and any financial “security” that existed.

Having two of my own children, I just put money away and not even tell them. Is that good? Probably not because they are not learning. Lesley Scorgie, a personal finance consultant and author of financial self-help books for young Canadians, says financial literacy must begin at an early age.

Kids need to learn the value of money. This comes from earning their own money and then going into their bank account and paying for something they really want. For my son’s 11th birthday he really wanted an ipod touch – the newest generation. I told him he was not allowed to go into his current bank account. Instead he needed to save money from his birthday and see how much he raised. In the end he had enough money to pay for his ipod. He knows that if he loses it I will not buy him another one.

One option is to take your child into the bank and/or bring in your financial planner and have them talk to the kids at their level and answer questions relevant to their financial understanding. Also, teach them about how money can grow when they are younger. I didn’t learn that and I spent all my money while my twin brother stashed away his money and by the time our 20s hit he was so much further ahead then me!

One lesson that I feel is so valuable is that money is just a tool – it is used to by a product or service/exchange. We, as humans, are emotionally tied to our money. I also want to teach children the more that we value our worth the more money will flow to us. Yes, the Law of Attraction however not from a “wishing place” but a real place of self worth and self love. I feel that our children today will understand this language and get it.

So, one more thing for me to guide and teach! I welcome others to do the same.

It will also be nice for our youth to come to a place of understanding and then force our government and politicians to be accountable and responsible for OUR money – not theirs. Transparency is something that also must come. When you are transparent and true — you walk your talk. Right now our government is talking about how much debt we Canadians are absorbing however they are not one to talk – look at our deficit issue.

If we are going to teach and guide our children we MUST begin with ourselves and walk our talk.

I realize there is a need and I will address it.

Please start to consider teaching your children and do so by starting with you!

All my best,

Sandra

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