SAINT JOHN (GNB) – New Brunswick youth will have a chance to jump-start their financial education this Wednesday by participating in Talk With Our Kids About Money Day. The Financial and Consumer Services Commission invites parents and guardians, teachers and community leaders to talk about money with youth on the third Wednesday in April.

“Financial literacy is more than just being able to add dollars and cents,” said Erin King, the commission’s senior education and website officer. “It is about building skills and good habits around money topics like saving, budgeting, borrowing, investing and planning. It is about having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed financial decisions.”

The yearly event is part of a national program to educate young people about financial health and to help them build responsible financial habits that will last a lifetime.

“Youth today face increasingly challenging financial choices as financial products and services continue to become more complex,” said King. “Parents and guardians can help young people build the financial literacy skills and confidence needed to understand these complex products and services, choose those that are most appropriate for them, and protect themselves from frauds and scams.”

The 2015 financial literacy assessment of 15-year-old students, conducted by the Programme for International Student Assessment, shows the importance of having these conversations about money. In some cases, students who talked with their parents about money scored higher in financial literacy skills than those who did not.

“You do not have to be a financial whiz to teach your kids about money,” said King. “It can be as easy as chatting about the grocery list or discussing options for their first cellphone. The way we interact with and think about money as adults is informed by how we see our parents and those close to us interact with money when we are young. Starting these conversations now can help create smart spenders in the future.”

The commission offers free resources on its website to help parents, caregivers, teachers and community leaders start these conversations:

  • 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.
  • Subscription Service – Updates on the topics that matter to you, including educational resources.

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 regulating mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, 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. Educational tools and resources are available online.