Money management is something many people struggle with, yet budgeting, debt management, and investing are essential skills in an uncertain world.
If you feel like you still haven’t got a handle on budgeting, you’re not alone. A 2019 Ipsos Reid poll found that living paycheque to paycheque is pretty common. On average, Canadians had just over $500 in the bank after paying bills at the end of a typical month. Almost half were just $200 away from insolvency, and one in three were so deep in debt they couldn’t keep up with the payments and ran out of money every month.
The good news is that you don’t have to be an expert on money management to teach your kids thanks to The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that provides free, non-commercial, financial literacy resources.
There’s some great information on its website about the different ways parents, teachers, and homeschooling families can teach kids about money. Also, there are several microsites with information for specific ages and stages, including:
School and homeschool resources for kids 5-18
This site provides a lot of fun ways for parents to introduce money concepts to kids from a very young age, using movies, music, TV, games, crafts, books, websites, and activities. Ideas include having kids help you scan through grocery flyers to find what’s on sale this week, making a duct tape wallet, creating a family chores chart, and finding innovative ways to spark conversations about how money can change relationships, how you can use money to help others, or how entrepreneurs assess risk versus reward.
The funny side of money, produced by Just for Laughs
If talking about money feels stressful, start with this site. Topics like online shopping, wants versus needs, scams, and debt are comedy gold in these short videos produced by the jokesters at Just for Laughs. In addition to the laughs, the videos include practical tips and teaching material to reinforce key messages about money.
Money and finance in current events
For older children and teens, newspaper articles can be a great jumping-off point to explore big ideas. This website curates articles and cartoons from the Globe and Mail that parents and educators can use to spark conversations about money through the lens of current events.
Financial literacy curriculum for age 14+
This program is an offshoot of cfee.org, and includes modules on financial decision-making, goal-setting, sources of income, career-planning, entrepreneurship, money basics, debt, investing, and how to be financially resilient so you can protect yourself when things go wrong. Each module contains a detailed teacher’s guide and parent resources to help you know what concepts to cover and get ideas for activities you can do to reinforce each lesson.