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One third of Canadian parents find it hard to talk to their kids about money
- While majority of parents agree it's important to teach their kids, time and complexity are barriers; TD Canada Trust provides advice to parents for everyday teachable moments -
TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2012 /CNW/ - Homework, reading, sports practice - a parent's to-do list is busy even on a good day. But parents themselves say they should make room for one more: financial literacy. Recent research from TD Canada Trust found that while 97% of parents with children under 12-years-old say it's extremely important to talk to their kids about money and finances, 42% say they haven't yet talked to their children and 36% say they find it difficult to find the time to talk to their kids because it's a complicated topic.
"Financial literacy is an essential life skill that children need to learn to be successful adults. It's never too early for your kids to start learning the value of a dollar," says Raymond Chun, a senior vice president at TD Canada Trust. "With patience and a little creativity, even the busiest parents can find teachable moments every day to help their children grow up to be financially savvy adults."
Walk the money talk: your kids are paying attention
As with many life lessons, kids learn about finances from the example that parents set in their own life. Nine-in-ten parents surveyed (88%) said they believe that how they manage their finances impacts how their children will manage their own.
"Really think about the example you are setting for your kids every single day when it comes to money management," says Chun. "How often do they see you shopping versus depositing money at the bank? Do you show your kids that you're willing to wait and save up for the things you want? Use examples in day-to-day life to demonstrate to your kids that life is about balancing priorities and budgets. Look for those ordinary moments as an opportunity to teach, such as explaining why you bought the milk on sale. Be open about how much things like groceries, toys and vacations cost."
Don't let your kids see you dipping into their savings
While most parents wouldn't even think of touching their kids' piggybanks, 31% of parents with young kids admit they would raid their children's piggybanks if they needed some change and couldn't find the cash anywhere. Chun advises to plan ahead to show your kids organization and discipline when it comes to money management. "I'm sure we've all been in that situation where we've run out of cash before we can get to the bank. But when it comes to leading by example, we should show our kids that we're in control of our cash flow. And, if you must dip into their savings, explain to them that it's only temporary."
Kids ask the darndest things - and how you can answer:
A father of two, Chun offers his advice on how to answer five common questions your kids might ask about money:
1. Why do I have to learn about money? I'm just a kid. It's so boring.
It's never too early to start learning about money. Learning about money can be fun with a little planning and creativity. For example, set up a play store with your kids' toys and pretend you are shopping for a big party but they only have $10 to spend. Help your kids figure out what they can afford to buy.
2. I have to make my bed and take out the trash every week to get my allowance, but my friend says she doesn't have to do anything. It's not fair. Why do I have to do chores to get my allowance?
Money doesn't grow on trees and it's important that children learn this from a very early age. Explain that parents tie allowance to kids' chores, like cleaning their room or raking the lawn, to show them what it will be like when they grow up. Adults don't get an allowance, and instead have to get a job - like being a firefighter or a bus driver - to earn money.
3. But why do I have to give my piggybank to the people at the bank? It's mine.
Many young children start saving in a piggy bank so they can see the money growing in front of them. To introduce them to concept that money can be more valuable when you save it in a bank, offer to add a nickel to their piggybank for every quarter that they save. Once their piggybank starts to fill, take them to the bank to open their very own bank account. Go online regularly with them so they can see for themselves how their balance is growing.
4. Why can't you just buy me the toys I want? You have money.
Sometimes we have to wait for things we want and save. I use this analogy: If you're at the playground and there's a really great new swing that every kid wants to play on, you may have to wait in line before it's your turn to play on it. The same goes for saving and spending.
5. I really want this cool new video game, but it costs $30! How do I save that much?
Sit down together to calculate how much of their allowance they need to save every week to afford their new game. Help your kids stay interested by tracking their progress. Work together to create a colourful countdown calendar to hang on the refrigerator that illustrates their savings goals, and use stickers to track their progress.
About TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com. TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.
About the TD Canada Trust poll
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group (www.environics.ca) to conduct an online omnibus survey of 686 parents with children living at home, including 453 parents with children ages 12 and under. Responses were collected between November 9 and 13, 2012.
SOURCE: TD Canada Trust
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