The truth is that most of us learn lessons about money through trial and error; however, teaching our children about sound money management early in life sets them up to be confident and smart about dollars and cents. Talking about money and finances is not part of the traditional conversation at dinner. In today’s world, why is talking about finances so taboo? Shouldn’t we prepare our youth for the realities of life?

"Step one is simple. Have the talk about money today and you will set your children on the right money management path forever."

Managing money is more complex and demands money management skills well beyond knowing how to balance a chequebook. In order to be successful, young Canadians must learn about the various financial tools, techniques and services available to them. We have a responsibility to talk to our children about money and prepare them to manage it responsibly, not only today, but for the rest of their lives.

Discussions about money management should be a regular conversation at the dinner table, in the mall and in our schools. We need to make conversations about finances a part of our daily routine. Use your everyday activities as an opportunity to talk to your children. By making the conversation about the money reality in your household, you are helping to dispel the myths and allowing your child to experience money management in a real-life setting.

"We have a responsibility to talk to our children about money and prepare them to manage it responsibly, not only today, but for the rest of their lives."

Money lessons each day

Let your child experience sound money management in their own lives. You are never too young to start to develop positive money habits. One of the first lessons you can share is to have your child open a bank account. By opening a bank account and putting aside a portion of their weekly allowance, you are encouraging them to learn and develop their saving habits.

We all experience money management decisions each day, so use these experiences as lessons for your children. Your weekly trip to the grocery store is another perfect way to teach your child different lessons about money. Children can learn how to set a budget and examine different types of payments. They can start to understand the difference between a need and a want.

"Let your child experience sound money management in their own lives. You are never too young to start to develop positive money habits."

The power of a plan

Setting goals and sticking to them is one of the hardest challenges each of us face when it comes to money. Help your child understand how you manage your money and show them how you plan and spend your money. By tracking and reviewing your monthly expenses together, your child will learn how you spend wisely and how you plan for the future. A great way to learn about financial planning and setting goals is to let your child develop your family budget and plan for your upcoming vacation.

Actions speak louder than words

The best way to learn about finances is to see sound money management in action. Your children should understand how your household finances are managed. By sharing your budget to help them understand how you achieve your financial goals, you are exposing them to the choices you make each day in managing money.

"Setting goals and sticking to them is one of the hardest challenges each of us face when it comes to money."

Start the discussion today

We want our children to learn the skills and develop the habits to make the best financial choices throughout their lives. Step one is simple. Have the talk about money today and you will set your children on the right money management path forever.