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Teaching Children About Money Offers Tips for Parents

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's newest "life event" shows how to get children into the habit of saving early

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/25/13 -- This is the perfect time to give your children a gift that will last a lifetime. If they received or earned money over the holidays, children of any age can benefit from learning money management skills. Free, unbiased online information from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) makes it easy to teach children about money.

"I'm often asked at what age children should be taught about money," says Ursula Menke, FCAC Commissioner. "I think that it's never too early to start. The Agency has put together some great tips and information to help parents."

When children are young, parents can begin with basic concepts such as counting and recognizing coins and bills. Then they can add discussions about "needs" versus "wants," budgeting, and income and expenses. Teachable moments are everywhere-talk about your spending plans when visiting stores or taking out cash from an automated banking machine. Children learn a lot by watching and imitating their parents. By modelling good spending and saving behaviour, parents will encourage their children to pick up their good financial habits.

Teaching tips

- Create a positive attitude towards saving-open a savings account that pays interest so your child can see how the money in their account grows.

- Help kids set goals and learn how to budget.

- Show children how to make smart spending decisions-avoid impulse shopping and learn how to shop around to compare features and prices.

- Consider whether or not to give your child an allowance and how an allowance could be used to teach money management skills.

- Provide opportunities to earn money through babysitting, snow shoveling or other chores and encourage teens to manage their own money.

- Find out what you need to consider before co-signing a cell phone contract with your teen.

- Find tips on how to help your teen build a strong credit history and avoid costly mistakes by using credit wisely.

More information on ways to put children on the road to financial independence is available in Teaching Children about Money. FCAC's full suite of life events, including Having Children, Living as a Couple, Paying for Post-Secondary Education, Starting your First Job, and Dealing with Debt are available on our website: itpaystoknow.gc.ca.

Melanie Boulet, a second-grade teacher in Ottawa, also believes that it's never too early, or too late, to start saving. In a video available on the FCACan YouTube channel, she explains how she finds opportunities to teach her students the value of money.

About FCAC

With educational materials and interactive tools, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides objective information about financial products and services to help Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated financial institutions, payment card network operators and external complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry commitments intended to protect consumers.

You can reach us through FCAC's Consumer Services Centre by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by visiting our website: itpaystoknow.gc.ca.

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