In our current society with credit cards, debit cards, rewards cards, Paypass cards, PayPal, EFT and many more onvenient online ways to access money and pay bills, how do you teach children to handle money?
According to the Financial Planning Standards Council, "parental influences continue to be vital to shaping the saving and spending habits of Canadian youth."
An article at fpsc.ca called "Backgrounder: Teachable Moments" offers many tips on ways to involve a child or teen in financial decisions. One of those suggestions is quite simple: "Open up a savings account and teach them about deposits and withdrawals."
In fall 2012, a local financial institution, Caisse Financial Group, launched a new online tool to help its youngest members become more financially savvy.
St. Francois Xavier parent Tracey Claeys encouraged her children to start saving years ago with Caisse Club accounts, which have historically been promoted in Manitoba schools.
Claeys’ 13-year-old daughter, Laura Didyk, "gets a set amount of money for clothes and stuff" Claeys says. Part of the new program includes providing a child account holder a debit card with parental permission.
When asked how having a debit card helps her, Laura did not hesitate: "I don’t have to borrow money. I can check my balances online and track my spending in my chequebook anytime."
Laura’s 10-year-old brother, Tyler Didyk has been helping on his grandfather’s farm in the summer and he saves all his money. He says: "I’ll only spend it on really important things, maybe like a new iPod."
Diane Bilodeau, vice-president, of marketing of marketing and strategy for Caisse Financial Group says: "We are very pleased with the level of interest shown since the launch of our Youth PLU$ program.
"We have many ideas for the future phases of the program such as an iPod-app and other online tools. With the support of our partnering schools and the parents, we hope to make a significant contribution to the financial education of our youth."
Several other financial institutions now offer online learning opportunities.
Valerie Chatain-White is a community correspondent for Headingley. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.