As a former high school teacher, the beginning of September always meant back to school.
For students, it’s a time for many new things at school. It can also be a time for new experiences: becoming more independent, going to a different school or moving out on their own.
Now, as a parent of two grown children, I am looking at the back-to-school season differently, reflecting on what I might have done to help them better prepare for school.
I realize now that back-to-school time is the perfect time to have a frank conversation with children about the importance of managing their personal finances, especially if they are moving out on their own for the first time.
The agency I lead, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), was established in 2001 to help Canadian consumers gain a better understanding of financial products and services such as credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages and investments. Since that time, FCAC has become a pioneer in creating clear, simple publications and easy-to-use web tools that give consumers objective, reliable help.
The government of Canada has given FCAC the mandate to foster financial literacy. The agency continues to develop innovative resources for students and all Canadians to help them strengthen their knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions. They are available at: http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/index-eng.asp (itpaystoknow.gc.ca).
Our commitment to Canada’s youth is to give them the tools they need to increase their ability to understand, analyze and navigate the financial marketplace with confidence not only for the new school year, but also for the rest of their lives.