Financial Literacy Begins With Our Young..

Posted Thursday, July 8th, 2010. Filed Under Financial Empowerment

This is a good topic for me today for I want to write about our relationship or LACK OF relationship in Canada, actually North America, with our elderly.

There is much wisdom that can be imparted to us from our grand parents and great grand parents that when applied, maybe tweaked slightly, can really make a difference in our life.

The topic today focuses on teaching our young about money. Right now, as it stands, I invest my children’s money and they cannot touch it. I leave some in their account so if they really want something they can buy it. I know, that in some ways I am still enabling them. It is funny because my son wrote home from camp that his first day was challenging because he had to unpack his clothes and put them away HIMSELF. He is 10 1/2 years old. When I received the letter I thought to myself — this is good — he needs to learn to be responsible and accountable.

Consumer debt is a problem that is plaguing ALL countries around the world. Canada is one that is doing financially better than most. Do not kid yourself, we can easily become the US, Europe or Japan if we do not watch how we spend. People have been spending beyond their means for too long. Interestingly, my parents, or I should say my father, only spends what he can afford. He may create some debt however it will be manageable and likely for business. I learned this from him. I also learned in my failed marriage how to spend beyond my means. It is not a good felling and one that I WILL NOT repeat.

How do we teach something that we, ourselves, are not good with. I have some tips that Joan and Jay have provided. I do feel that we must learn to lead by example. Take this as a starting point. I have made it one of my missions to teach women financial literacy. I stay commited to this.

In the meantime… Here are 3 tips:

Three Ways To Teach Kids About Money

We hear a lot about financial literacy these days as Ottawa promotes its efforts to educate Canadians about money management, saving and investing. Clearly, the first steps begin with our kids, and not just in the classroom.

Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers can provide some of the building blocks to economic maturity by sharing their own experiences with money. Here are 3 ways you can help them understand basic financial concepts.

1. Let them manage their own income. It’s important for your kids to have their own money to manage – and mismanage. They will learn a lesson (albeit painful sometimes) when they spend their entire allowance on an impulse purchase.
2. Help them set goals and allocate their money. Set goals for donating, savings and spending and give them separate piggybanks to allocate the chosen portion of the money they earn.
3. Show them the power of compound growth. Opena savings account, GIC or other investment for your child. If you have online access to the account, even better – yur child can track its accumulation and online calculators to project future growth. It can be fun too!

Joan can be reached at 416-545-5352 or email her at

Jay can be reached at 416-545-5317

It is time as individuals we take responsibility and accoutability for our actions, choices and outcomes. If we want to change something, a behaviour, than we must change the way we think. It is ok to have “stuff” however at what expense. It is time to begin to live within our means.

All my best,


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