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How to talk to your kids about money

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If you’re like most Canadians, you probably believe responsible money management is an important life skill – and one children should learn. Yet some of us struggle with finding the best time and way to have these conversations.

Here are some tips to put your kids on the road to financial success.

Getting started
Getting serious
Getting close


They’ve recently learned about money and have started earning.

Their parents are managing their money.

They’ve had quite a few conversations with you.

They’ve been managing what they earn.

They’re making minor purchase decisions on their own.

They’ve got a pretty good idea of money management.

They’re making most of their day-to-day purchase decisions on their own.

They’re getting ready for college or university.

They’re applying for their first credit card, paying for tuition, filing their first income tax return and paying for rent, groceries and utilities.

Talk about the difference between bills, coins and their values.

Sort coins into piles and try a match and math game.

Show your child how you keep track of the money going in and out of your chequing account.

Explain that if you don’t have enough money in your account to cover pre-authorized bill payments, you may be charged a fee and the recipient won’t get paid.

Think about ways you can both save up for something you want but can’t yet afford.

Have your teens sell items in your home on your behalf and keep a portion of the sale – determining the portion will test their negotiation skills!

Living within your means is arguably the most important lesson you can teach your young adult children.

A rule of thumb is to save 10% of what you earn. To make sure it happens, have your child set up an automatic transfer.

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Next lesson: Managing your plan