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Teach Children to Save

Today is “Teach Children to Save Day” in the United States. For 14 years the “Teach Children to Save” program, sponsored by the American Bankers Association’s Education Fund, has partnered banks with students for lessons on the importance of saving. The goal is to reach 5 million students before the 15th anniversary of the program, next year.

Canada may not have an equivalent “Day” designated, but we do have very impressive programs to help you teach your children or students the importance of money management, including my favourite: Make it Count.

Make it Count is an interactive money mentoring program and information resource from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). The Make it Count program includes a parent’s guide, an instructor’s guide and an online daily budgeting program that uses everyday situations like errands to engage youth in discussions about  money management. Make it Count makes talking with youth about budgeting, debit card use and common sense spending simpler and more effective for parents and teachers.

The  program centers around a series of activities, tips and lesson plans that are simple to follow and more importantly, simple to teach. One of the most exciting new elements of the program is an online, interactive money management tool that allows mentors and youth to set up a daily budget, start and track savings goals and chat with other money mentors in an online forum. Users can see where their money is going, track their financial progress and provide their own insights and activity ideas to the online community.

According to a recent national survey, there is a need for financial skills educational resources that are family-friendly. The CSA Investor Index 2009 survey found that 78 percent of Canadians believe that teaching financial skills is among the most important things a parent can do for their child. And less than half of parents with children 18 or younger have actually taught their children about personal finances and investing.

The Make it Count resources, including the interactive online budgeting program can be accessed at MakeitCountOnline.ca.  All resources are free and available in both English and French.

Do you like the piggy bank pictured above? Find out more about the Money Savvy Pig from Money Savvy Generation.

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