Putting parents at ease

Book helps parents prepare children for life’s important financial decisions

When it comes to teaching kids the value of money, it’s important to remove the guesswork.

According to a recent study by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), 78 per cent of Canadian parents surveyed have tried to teach their children financial management skills, but the majority (60 per cent) do not believe they have been very successful.

“Parents can give their children an important advantage in life by starting in-home discussions about money matters at an early age,” says Cairine Wilson, vice-president, Member Services, CICA.

“The majority realizes this, but many Canadian parents are unsure about how to proceed.”

In a bid to help parents prepare their children for successful financial futures, the CICA is releasing a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide for teaching financial skills at home.

A Parent’s Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids is designed to put parents at ease when it comes to preparing their children for life’s important financial decisions.

The practical guide allows parents to quickly zero in on the information they need.

Each chapter describes how to approach money management with a specific age group and discusses the essentials of financial literacy — earning, saving, spending, sharing and investing. Age groups covered include, children aged five to eight, pre-teens, teenagers and young adults.

The guide’s author is Robin Taub, a chartered accountant and highly experienced financial consultant who is a passionate advocate for financial literacy and life-long learning. Taub firmly believes that to be effective teachers, parents must first be good financial role models.

“How parents manage their money greatly influences their children,” says Taub.

“The first chapter of the book outlines 10 healthy financial habits parents can use to keep their affairs in order and model responsible financial decision making for their children.

A mother of two, Taub also believes it is essential for kids to gain not only financial knowledge, but also the values and discipline needed to ensure they put the skills they learn into action.

“Having money management skills alone is no guarantee of financial success,” says Taub.

“Without values to navigate by, even a financially knowledgeable person can pile up bad debt or fall victim to impulse spending. True financial capability is powered by strong, life-long values in combination with financial knowledge and skills.”

The CICA guide pays particular attention to those all-important teachable moments in everyday life, such as grocery shopping, that allow parents to teach valuable money lessons.

Another highlight is a series of light-hearted yet insightful quotes from parents describing how they have approached the topic of financial literacy with their children.

The CICA publication is available in e-book and hard copy formats and can be obtained by visiting www.castore.ca/moneysmartkids.