As adults involved in the lives of our children, we have the opportunity to help them learn about managing money and set them on a track for future financial success. According to the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, 78 per cent of parents have tried to teach their children about money and two thirds of them do not feel that they have been successful at it. Trying to start a conversation about money may seem daunting, but it’s not as difficult as you might think, and you can get the conversation started through three key steps: modeling, guiding and practicing.
Life is full of opportunities to start talking about money. A trip to the grocery store is a great time to discuss the price difference between a popular product and its store brand equivalent, dinner at a restaurant is a chance to set a meal budget and allow your kids to pick a meal that falls within it, and planning a party is a chance to have them think up some low-cost party activities such as home mani-pedis or a video game competition. Start when your children are young, help them put coins in their piggy bank, read them delightful books like A Chair for my Mother or My Rows and Piles of Coins, which are full of great money and value lessons. Help them open a bank account and encourage them to earn money through babysitting or snow shovelling. Even a dinnertime chat about the cost of items around the house is a great way to get the conversation rolling.
For more tips on how to be a money mentor, contact the Manitoba Securities Commission to get your free copy of Make it Count or order online at makeitcountonline.ca.