My Money $ My Future Resources
Student Handbook. The Financial Literacy Student Handbook is 43 pages of straight financial talk aimed at teens who are on the verge of making financial decisions that could have hefty implications if not made wisely.
After a brief introduction to goal setting and the consequences of accumulating too much debt early in life, the book covers the following topics: budgeting, wealth building through saving, earning extra money and spending less, the cost of moving out, debt management, and paying for higher education. The print copy is available to teachers and school boards across Canada at $10 per copy. The book is also available in a web edition.
Online. Further reading and resources that cover the same topics as the handbook are available at the My Money $ My Future web site. There is also a Facebook page which you can find on the left side of the landing page of the main web site.
Guest Speakers. For Alberta schools, there is a team of CGA speakers available to do school visits and talk about the topics in the handbook. Contact information for bookings is provided at the end of this article.
My Money, My Future (My Economy)
When I spoke with Jeff O'Rourke about the outcomes that his organization is hoping for, he replied that helping students make informed decisions about their future and manage their debt can have a stabilizing effect on Canada's economy. I agree. I have often wondered if the financial crisis may have played out differently if the average person managed their lives from a higher level of financial literacy. And though higher financial literacy levels may not have prevented the 2008 crash, we may have gone into it with an even stronger Canadian economy.
Another pitfall for students is credit. Credit card companies are famous for setting up booths in student union buildings. More than once, Jeff has seen students get their card and head to pub to treat their friends to an expensive night out only to realize later that the interest rate on that balance can be well over 20%. As he said, "It takes two seconds to spend but years to pay back."
I closed the interview by asking Jeff my now famous O'Leary question: What three things do you think we should teach Canadian kids about money? Here are Jeff's answers:
- Control your money. Don't let it control you.
- It takes a second to spend but years to pay back.
- It's not how much you make that matters; it's how much you spend.
Copyright 2011. Laura Thomas. All Rights Reserved.
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