Financial Literacy at an Early Age
Most people in Canada learn how to read when they are still young. Soon after that they begin to learn about arithmetic, history, and all kinds of other topics, but learning about money can take years. Economic matters can be especially difficult for young people, but it can be very important to get help with financial literacy as early as possible to avoid problems in the future.
When people’s businesses fail or they lose all of their money, they might declare bankruptcy. In the past, middle aged or older people were the main ones to file for bankruptcy after they had worked, bought property, and spent their money. In recent years, more and more people between eighteen and twenty-four are going bankrupt. An earlier education in finances could help prevent this from happening.
Managing or avoiding debt is often one of the most important aspects of financial literacy. When people get out of school, or even while they are still in high school, they often want to buy cars and maybe move into their own homes. All of these things take a lot of money, and many people might spend more than they have saved. Before they realize it, they might have far too much debt to pay off with what they earn. Still, not all debt is bad, and people need to learn the difference.
Debt is only one of the topics that young people need to know about. They should know when they can save money on cheaper items and when it is best to pay more. They should learn to keep track of their bank accounts and investments, but also learn what they need to know for the future when they live on their own.
Suppose that you want to buy a car to help you get to your part-time job or to go out with your friends. You will first need to calculate how much money it would take to buy a car, pay for gas, and take care of repairs to see if taking the bus is cheaper. If you want to go to university or college after high school, you will need to save money or get student loans which you will have to repay later. How can you decide what to do with your money?
Your parents, friends, and teachers might be able to give you financial advice, but a professional opinion is often very valuable. The first thing to do is to decide what you need to know. Do you need help with making a budget so that you know how much money you can spend each month? Maybe you already want to start preparing a budget for when you go to university or college.
When you know what you want to learn, you can find the information to fit your needs. Banks have always been places where people could get advice about money, but now many of them are also offering courses for young people. Websites can also be useful, although it is important to make sure that the information is accurate. Do you want to become financially literate? It’s never too early to start learning.
Cunningham, James. “Teaching Youth to Manage Money.” https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/news/canadas-financial-literacy-blog/teaching-youth-manage-money.html.
Nelson, Jacqueline. “Count Me In, Canada will aim to improve financial literacy.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investor-education/count-me-in-canada-will-aim-to-improve-financial-literacy/article24880312/.
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