â€śChildren are the futureâ€ť; at one point in our lives we were told that exact phrase, and now we may be telling younger generations the exact thing. Having said that we it is only right that children are educated in money management to help them in the future.
BMO Bank of Montreal has recently launched BMO SmartSteps for Parents, an online, interactive hub to help educate children in money management. This is exactly what I was hoping to see when BMO first started introducing various SmartSteps to clients.
This is resource is free, and available to all Canadians and aligns with recommendations from the Federal Government task force to improve financial literacy in Canada.
A recent survey conducted by Leger Marketing found that only 54% of parents have talked with their children concerning household finances, while 37% are not certain that their children have a firm grasp on the basics of money management.
What does BMO SmartSteps for Parents offer?
BMO SmartSteps for Parents offer saving and spending lessons; practical and simple tools which include:
- Age & Stage Sections
Articles, interactive tools and games that address key money issues for separate age groups ranging from 5 to 15.
- Expert Blogs
Parents can ask questions and voice any concerns they may have and receive feedback & solutions from experts, which include Alison Griffiths, a leading financial expert who believes this approach is essential to successfully addressing financial fluency with children and Alyson Schafer, a parenting expert and psychotherapist.
- The Zone
Kids, tween and teens can tap into age appropriate activities. This includes online games that help younger children to recognize money and older children to identify â€śneedsâ€ť vs â€śwantsâ€ť.
- Web Series
Parents discuss how they are teaching savings, spending and budgeting to their children. BMO experts also provide real life tips and advice that parents can easily apply in their homes.
Schafer explained that parents believe that the burden is on them to instill responsible money management skills in their children, and in my opinion I believe the same thing. If children grow up seeing bad money management skills, then in their adult lives they are likely to follow what they have seen. Life lessons are passed down from generation to generation, money management skills are definitely not an exemption.
As part of the BMO SmartSteps for Parents launch, customers who open a BMO Youth Discounted Banking Plan and deposit $25 will receive another $25 from BMO to put towards their childâ€™s savings.
I will be honest, I was not completely aware of my household finances until I was probably 13/ 14. I was brought up with decent money management skills, most of which consisted of when and how I should be saving money, and to this day I still follow what my parents have taught me. I am happy to see these SmartSteps being put to use and hopefully it is as successful as the rest.
Are you teaching good money management skills to your children?
image source: Hummy