By Tracey Arnish

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada and a great time to consider what you are doing to build your kids’ money muscles.

I have a keen interest in building the financial acumen of young Canadians – not only because I am a member of the executive team at Coast Capital Savings (a proud sponsor of the JABC Dollars with Sense program) and a member of the Board of Directors with Junior Achievement B.C. (JABC) – but also because I am a parent.

As a mom of two, I know that there are a number of imperative lessons that, as parents, my husband and I need to take the lead on to ensure that our kids have the knowledge, skills and real-life experience to become well-rounded adults.

Financial literacy is one of them. We have wonderful groups, such as JABC who offer programs that work to build financial literacy programming into the school curriculum, however, as parents, we play an important role in this space too.

To mark Financial Literacy Month, here are the top three tips I would offer other parents who are looking to help their kids build their financial prowess:

1.  Start now

It is never too late. Start now. No matter how old your kids are, there are always opportunities to start the conversation and teach age-appropriate money lessons.

2.  Be consistent

You need to set expectations and keep with them through thick, thin. Use setbacks, disappointments and requests for loans as teachable moments.

3.  Talk about your successes and failures

Money shouldn’t be a taboo topic around the dinner table. Have ongoing age appropriate conversations about household finances; this is where financial literacy starts.

The earlier our kids start exercising their money muscles, the more confident and savvy they will be as they venture into the world of student loans, credit cards, mortgages and retirement savings.


About the Author:

Tracey Arnish is Chief Member and Employee Experience Officer, Coast Capital Savings, a JA Alumna and  a member of the JABC Board of Directors