My name is Mike. And, like many parents, I have a problem. Money. Not so much how to pay the bills this week or find the cash so that my daughter can go on her next school field trip. But, how to find the time, and the wisdom, to help my kids learn how to manage money before they hit the big cash events. First car. First job. University. Leaving home. And I worry that if I don’t get them cash smart that they will spend their adult lives buried in grown-up money problems: too much spending, too little saving, and not enough cash sense to share with their kids.
Canadian Task force on Financial Literacy says it’s not just me!
Not surprisingly to Active Allowance parents, I’m not alone with these worries. A few weeks ago the Canadian Taskforce on Financial Literacy
, initiated by Canada’s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, issued a report called “Canadians And Their Money
”. This report is the most comprehensive look at the financial problems Canadians of all ages are facing. It seems as if we’re not doing a very good job in managing our cash. According to the report almost half of us struggle with simple tasks involving math and numbers and almost a third of Canadians are struggling to pay their bills
. If the adults are having a tough go of it then it is easy to understand why so many kids are leaving home unprepared to face the money management issues that inevitably come with growing up. And this isn’t just a Canadian problem – it’s a global issue.
Boomers placing a huge burden on their kids
The concern, of course, is not just with the economic problems of the past few years. A more startling problem faces all of us as the Baby Boomers (of whom I’m one) hit retirement age and start to put an increased strain on the Pension Plans, Medicare, and other social programs. The sense is that a large segment of Boomers are simply not financially ready for their senior years. And with Boomers accounting for almost one in three people in the US and Canada, this will put a big burden on our kids who will have to pay the bills. We can’t remove that burden. But we can help them become more financially literate before they leave home.
Tell us about your successes (or failures that have taught you a lesson)
Our family has been using Active Allowance for years. We think the founders, Harvey and Leslie Beck, have given us all a great tool. I’ve promised to try to help them make it even better by sharing what works and what does not work with my family through this blog. If you’re an Active Allowance member, perhaps you can kick in with some great ideas. If you’d like to contribute I’d love hearing from you.
Until next time…..