SAINT JOHN (GNB) – Thousands of New Brunswick youth can build important financial life skills by participating in Talk With Our Kids About Money Day on April 18.

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission is encouraging parents, teachers and community leaders to start engaging in money conversations with children to help them build responsible financial habits that will last a lifetime.

The April 18 event is a national program for families, students and teachers developed by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education.

“Starting to learn about money as early as possible is a great way to help children make smart financial decisions,” said Marissa Sollows, the commission’s acting director of education and communication. “It also goes a long way in helping children develop self-confidence, independence and self-sufficiency.”

Results of a survey by the Program for International Student Assessments, released last year, found 83 per cent of New Brunswick 15-year-olds had a baseline level of financial literacy while 16.4 per cent demonstrated advanced levels of financial literacy.

“Those results showed that our youth are forming good saving and spending habits early in life,” Sollows said. “But they also pointed to room for improvement.”

Children learn through their own experiences and from watching their parents, Sollows said. However, many parents and caregivers have indicated they do not know how to start the money talk.

“Keeping the conversations fun and easy by using real life examples can help foster learning without the conversations becoming overwhelming,” she said. “Even a trip to the grocery store with a shopping list can be a great opportunity to talk about money and help your children build responsible financial habits that will last a lifetime.”

The commission has free resources on its website to help parents, caregivers, teachers and community leaders start these money conversations. For example, its youth money management program Make It Count! is a free program that provides hands-on activities, practical tips and lesson plans for both parents and teachers.

Other resources available on the website include:

  • Incorporating Money into your Classroom (eBook) - A book full of classroom activity ideas to help teachers start the conversation on money with their students of all grades.
  • Smart Tips eBook – A book of financial tips submitted by New Brunswickers for the next generation.
  • Financial Life Stages  – A guide for parents that describes what money knowledge children should have at different milestones.

Teachers can also book a free classroom presentation by contacting the commission’s education division. The content is tailored to each grade and classroom with time for discussion and questions.

The Financial and Consumer Services Commission has the mandate to protect consumers and enhance public confidence in the financial and consumer marketplace through the provision of regulatory and educational services. It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of provincial legislation that regulates the following sectors: securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, co-operatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. It is an independent Crown corporation funded by the regulatory fees and assessments paid by the regulated sectors. Online educational tools and resources are available at