President, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education
With the right training and education, we can equip the next generation for a life of financial confidence.
The majority of Canadians never received any financial education — especially for the rapidly-changing financial world that has evolved around them. Unfortunately, we live with that legacy. Many Canadians live with persistent financial stress and anxiety — not by design or intent, but rather from having to manage financial life affairs with little in the way of education and training to help.
The past is the past. However, we can change the future by educating our kids and preparing them for their future financial decisions and responsibilities.
Our actions in life are influenced by many factors. A significant one is our level of confidence. A confident person is more likely to ask questions, recognize when they need advice from others, set their own debt limits, establish goals they aspire to and feel they can achieve, and stay in control of their financial lives.
We can do a lot to build financial confidence and competence in the adult generation of Canadians today. We can try to help them contend with, and hopefully alleviate, the situations of financial stress and over-extension in which they find themselves.
But the future is sitting in our classrooms today — and on the baseball diamonds, in the hockey rinks, on the dance floors, at the malls, and on the couch in the basement. We can change those futures — and dramatically reduce the number of Canadians living lives of financial stress and anxiety in the future. We can increase the numbers living within their means and experiencing the happiness and contentment of life that can come with that.
But we have to act now — taking steps to educate our kids and build their financial confidence and capability to enable them to feel confident, act with confidence.