The ABCs of good financial habits

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February 2, 2016 11:53 AM

Abigail Myrie, vice-chair for Synergy Credit Union's financial literacy committee, teaches some local youth and parents about the importance of proper money handling at It's a Money Thing which was held at Father Gorman Community School Thursday.

The importance of teaching children how to read and write is no secret but how many of today’s youth are financially literate?
Whatever the answer may be, the people who make up the financial literacy committee at Synergy Credit Union want to increase the number of children who know how to manage money.
To achieve its goal, the committee had its first parent and child financial literacy evening called It’s a Money Thing at Father Gorman Community School on Jan. 28.
“It teaches you how to save money and you need money to live everyday life,” said 10-year-old Elkan Ekhator of the event.
“It’s important and I’m glad I attended.”
Ekhator said he was taught about the proper ways of budgeting, spending and saving the hard earned dollars he’ll make when he gets older.
The financial literacy committee showed attendees presentations, which they say were most suitable for children in Grade 5 or higher, and screened cartoons that demonstrated the importance of being money-smart.
Some of the cartoons showed differences between debit cards, credit cards and prepaid debt cards, and what the pros and cons were of each.
Abigail Myrie, vice-chair for Synergy’s financial literacy committee, told the Source that it’s important to teach kids about money at a young age because they pick up their habits as they grow.
“If we can start with their habits younger, the more good habits they’ll pick up as they grow up, and so we’ll have financially literate adults and that really supports the economy in Canada,” she said.
“We taught them about their money persona — how they feel about and value money; we taught them about budgeting, saving and spending.
“So we covered all the main areas that deal with money.”
Though the event was geared toward kids in Grade 5 and older, Myrie said it’s best for parents to familiarize their children with finances as soon they’re aware of the world around them.
When parents run errands with their children in tow, like taking them to the store, restaurant, or the bank, they have perfect opportunities to extend some financial knowledge.
She suggests parents explain a bit about these transactions to their kids as a way to get them familiar with money and how it works.
It’s a Money Thing was the first event where Synergy Credit Union focused on teaching kids with their parents and Myrie said they are working with the Lloydminster Catholic School Division to create an ongoing program on the topic.
“Usually we’ve spoken to teenagers in grades 10, 11 or 12 and college kids, but having kids in with parents, we’ve never really had that as a focus as a committee with Synergy Credit Union, so that’s our first new venture for the 2015-16 school year,” said Myrie. She said her team is also open to partnering with other school divisions that are interested.

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