KIDS FINANCIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM

AGES 13 -17

Topic 1: All About Allowance

Children who receive an allowance tend to grow up to be more financially savvy than those who do not. Although somewhat controversial, most educators find it is helpful to provide an allowance that is NOT tied to chores. Setting clear expectations (write these down) about what your children are expected to pay for with their allowance, determining appropriate amounts for these categories, and doling out the allowance accordingly sets the stage for your child to learn to work within these parameters. Book a monthly family meeting to a) review categorized spending b) provide an opportunity for your kids to ask questions and check in.

Topic 2: Savings Goals

It can be helpful to provide “matching” opportunities for your child when they are saving for a major expense or an independence goal (a vehicle, a school trip, tuition, etc.) Work through the expected total cost and timeline, then complete an online calculator to calculate required savings amounts. Offer to provide a match of, say, 5 – 10% per month of whatever they save or a lump sum when they reach a savings milestone. The article supplied shows the trade-off of foregoing fast food for a packed lunch and it should really hit home with most students – encourage your kids not to eat through their dreams!

Topic 3: What’s the Cost?

It is unusual to step back and look at the cost (in time) of some of our regular expenses. Take a moment to discuss these articles with your child. Talk to them about how marketing and advertising impacts how we view needs and wants. Youth are influenced by their peers, but they can also BE an influence on their peers. Open the conversation up around this exchange of time and money to encourage your child to really consider the spending choices they make.

Topic 4: Investing

If your child is interested and you are comfortable, review your portfolio holdings with them. Talk to them about what your experiences with investing have been so far. Go online and look up some of the companies you hold and some companies your children like to make purchases from.

Topic 5: Compound Interest

We know that without the positive effects of compounding, we’d have to save much more money to be able to retire. We also know that not paying off debt compounds and results in much higher interest costs. The effects of time can be dramatic! We want time to be on our kid’s side, so discuss with them how compounding can either help accumulate wealth or can cost us.

Topic 6: Credit

Debt can help us or harm us. Many people use a mortgage which helps us own our own homes. Others may rack up large interest costs on discretionary purchases which can take years to pay for. Our kids will be exposed to credit as they near their post-secondary lives. It’s wise to help them understand when and how to make use of debt and when to avoid it from an early age.

Topic 7: Ready to Earn Some Money?

Encourage your teen to take on some paid tasks around the neighborhood (or in your house), start a part-time job or even start a business! The skills learned are invaluable and the independence your child experiences from earning their own money is priceless. The possibilities are truly endless.

Topic 8: Fraud Prevention

Our world is such that we need to engage our children in conversations about online and cell phone safety. Even youth are targets of financial scams. Help them understand early on what to share and what to keep private, where and how to shop safely online, and what sorts of links are best to avoid. Even cell phones are targets of fraud scams.

PLAN. COORDINATE. COMMUNICATE.