Six things to keep in mind when talking to your kids about money

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

A goal for Canada’s financial literacy initiatives is to have today’s generation of young people be better with money than their parents. Two areas to target for improvement are high debt levels and the tendency to place an excessive importance on home ownership. Too many Canadians are financing their lifestyles with debt and hurting their overall financial wealth by owning homes they can barely afford.

I raise these points to help get you thinking about Talk to Your Kids About Money Day, which is today (Wednesday, April 19). In this guide to having conversations with kids about money, an expert suggests parents discuss mistakes they’ve made or those that a lot of Canadians are making, like borrowing too much.

The U.S. personal finance writer Dave Ramsey has some tips on talking to kids about money; one I particularly like is setting family finance goals. In a column a few years back, I suggested making the cost of university or college a part of money talks with kids. Here’s some advice for affluent families on discussing money with kids.

Here’s a recent Globe story about a new program that is making financial literacy education a reality for Ontario high-school students. I started a discussion about who has responsibility to teach kids about financial literacy on my Facebook personal finance page recently and was surprised by the quantity and thoughtfulness of the posts. Parents are obviously engaged with this topic, which is encouraging.

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