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Helping youth become more financially independent: Global News Morning BC


Well, right now back to school often means more financial responsibilities for youth and their families this is also the perfect time to start talking to your kids about money and joining us now for some tips on that and helping us become more financially independent is Matt Atkinson of Coast Capital Savings.

So, when would you say is a good time for parents to start this conversation?

Yeah, that’s a great question! And I think before I start I think it’s important to recognize thatback to school this year for many young British Columbians and their families is probably looking and feeling very different than previous years, I think is fair to say. And hopefully everybody is looking at their financial situation a little bit differently here in 2020. I think with that being said, specifically foryoung Canadians, it can be difficult to take that step to be financially independent. I think ideally parents need to be having these conversations form the times kids can understand simple financial concepts. Of course it has to be age-appropriate, but certainly the younger you’re starting and building up a foundation around financial literacy the better.

Okay, then the big question is how? What do you recommend parents do taking that first step and making their kids aware of financial planning best practices?

Well I think traditionally the topic of finances at the dinner table is a bit taboo, so I think that parents need to have the confidence to be comfortable and open to have a conversation. So I think that’s the first step. I think when we’re talking to members with young adults we always tell parents talk to your children honestly about your own financial well-being. As parents we have a tendancy to share our own professional and maybe personal experience, and regarding your financial experiences that shouldn’t be any different. There isn’t a specific moment in time that I think these conversations need to start happening—I think they just need to [happen]. And so I think you as a parent need to determine when your child is ready to have those conversations and hopefully you setup some steps to do that.

We’ve all made mistakes with money. How do you suggest parents bring those up with their kids? Or should they?

Absolutely, I think so. I think the stats tell the story here. There are many Canadians that are potentially spending faster than they earn and I think there are a lot of life lessons for parents they can teach their kids. I think they absolutely should. I think we have a tendency not to dig into that conversation with our children but I think for parents it’s really important. It makes kids feel comfortable that their parents aren’t living this sort of perfect financial life, and it bring that to reality that they might make mistakes as well and how do you get through them and what do you need to change from a behavioural perspective to get through? I think the last thing I’ll mention is as a parent if you need assistance, all of us financial institutions are here to help engage in those conversations with you and your child.

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