Lucie Tedesco, acting commissioner, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
A growing number of Canadians are opting for “staycations” this summer. This is not surprising – vacationing at home can be a good way to save money, and to enjoy activities close to home.
It’s also a great opportunity to teach your kids about money. Check local listings for family-friendly events or activities, and ask your kids to help plan a day trip of their choosing – within a budget. They will learn to plan ahead and anticipate costs, and to make decisions like whether to bring or buy a lunch. For young kids, going for ice cream is a great time to show them that when you spend money on one item, that means you have less available for something else. Teenagers might enjoy The City, a free online tool where they can learn about financial issues like needs versus wants, budgeting and goal-setting through different characters in an interactive, virtual world.
Parents can take advantage of everyday activities to teach a financial lesson. Go through coupons together, and ask your child to clip those for items on your shopping list. At the store, show them the costs of different items, like their favourite cereal. Involve your child in decision making when you’re deciding between similar products.
Promoting financial education is a key part of what we do at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. Parents can check out “Teaching Children About Money” and our other free resources on teaching financial literacy to children at itpaystoknow.gc.ca.