Talk With Your Kids About Money

Are your kids money smart?  Likely not.  Survey after survey reveals most adults – let alone kids – fail basic financial literacy questions about investing, saving, credit, and debt.  Let’s not even try to discuss inflation, depreciation, and irrationality!

We know how important it is to raise children that are financially literate and competent.  If you think this skill should be at the core of our schools across Canada, you’re not alone.  But the education starts at home.  Kids overwhelmingly don’t just want to learn the facts from mom and dad, but they’re watching what their parents do as well.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to equipping your kids with money skills, or, empowering your clients to do the same with their children, have no fear.  The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education’s (CFEE) 8th annual Talk Money with Our Kids Day is April 14th.   This national day supported by Scotiabank – showcases importance of having ‘money talks’ with kids particularly during the financial and mental stresses brought on by COVID-19.

TWOKAM is an educational program, created by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) and supported by Scotiabank. The program started in 2013 as a pilot in Toronto and Montreal area schools and has since expanded to include schools and homes right across Canada as educators, parents and guardians recognized the need to improve the financial capability of young Canadians. Initially, the program designated one day a year, as an easy way to get the talks started. Starting as a catalyst to ignite interest and get the “fires” started and spread.

Pre-pandemic, I was lucky enough to attend the Talk Money with Our Kids Day in April 2019.  High atop the old Scotiabank tower in Toronto, I was treated to young kids with their poster presentations, beaming at their exhibitions, ready to explain their financial literacy lessons.  There were “rent vs. buy” analysis, “how to make money on YouTube” and “what it costs to live in a major city.”  Lessons I never learned as a kid.  It was impressive.

CFEE always had a robust digital suite of videos and resources for parents, teachers and kids but quickly pivoted during the pandemic to add even more.  The TWOKAM program now runs all year long, with teachers and parents continuously accessing the free and easy to use resources. Talking about money is the first step to improving financial capability– and this is so important for young Canadians to head into their futures with confidence and competence.

Pivoting because of the pandemic was important to CFEE with all of the pressures on parents and teachers, especially now with another round of lock downs and stay home orders.  As it worked out, TWOKAM was a great support to teachers and especially parents as they were called upon to do more this year at home, and via virtual and distance learning. The TWOKAM website – with all of its resources for parents and teachers – was tailor made to assist.

CFEE is emphasizing the link between financial health and mental health, and the importance of providing financial education to our kids – starting early – and instilling the knowledge and skills that can help them stay in control of their financial lives – and build confidence and competence.

On April 14th, CFEE with announce the six national finalists – from hundreds of entries from across the country – and they’ll be appearing with their 3-minute video showcasing what they learned about money and why it is important in their lives.  The first-place winner will receive a $2,000 prize and the second and third place winners will receive $1,000 and $500, respectively. Phillip Crawley, publisher of the Globe and Mail will be the MC for the virtual event again this year.

To support all those who want to get involved, CFEE has created a comprehensive website – www.talkwithourkidsaboutmoney.com – that provides parents, guardians, teachers, and anyone else interested with resources they can easily use to have money talks with kids. Best of all, thanks to Scotiabank, TWOKAM is free and available in French and English.

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