I feel very strongly about the importance of talking with our kids
about money, both as a parent and a teacher.
From a very young age our girls have had save/spend/share piggybanks
for them to divvy up any small amounts of money they receive, and it really
helped to start the conversations early.
When they were 7 and 5 we took them to set up their own bank accounts
with debit cards – which I will admit I still hang on to for now! I love seeing
them deposit money, but to tell you the truth I also love to see them spend it wisely
– for example, both girls saved up to buy iPod Touches, and they definitely
have gotten their money’s worth out of them, learning a lesson about worthwhile
Now at 10 and 7 they have also started buying their own books and
accessories, and it gives me pleasure to see them doing mental math, estimating
how much they will have left, and counting out their cash…or not. Often they
make an informed decision not to make a purchase, which is amazing too.
I was very proud last summer when they decided to set up a cold drinks
stand to earn some more spending money. Even after paying us back for the
startup costs (aren’t we mean parents? Hey, it’s business!) they still made a nice
little profit, and decided to give half of it to our local hospital – another
proud mama moment.
Eva actually wrote her public speech this year on “Tips for Running a
Successful Business”, based on their summer experience – and won two gold
medals and a silver in competitions! (I don’t think people expected that topic
coming from a 7 year old girl!)
To help start conversations and teach kids some important financial
literacy, BMO Financial Group helped launch the Talk With Our Kids
About Money (TWOKAM) program with the Canadian Foundation for Economic
Education (CFEE) in 2013, making this BMO’s 4th year of partnership. BMO’s Talk
With Our Kids About Money Day is taking place on April 20, 2016.
Talk With Our Kids
About Money
, powered by BMO in partnership with CFEE, has tools and resources
for parents to help build money conversations into their day-to-day
interactions with their kids (from age 5 right through the teen years), and is
a free program accessible to families of any income. Some of the activities
even involve watching and discussing popular movies – now there’s a way to hook
your kids!
While the resources for home are fantastic, there’s also a great
school program as well, with curriculum links for the different grades and
provinces and ready-made lesson plans which include student activities. (This
isn’t just for math teachers – there are lessons linked to music, drama, art,
science, geography and more!)
As parents, we don’t want to end up in a position where we are bailing
our children out – or taking the tough love approach and not doing so – because
of serious financial circumstances. Of course they’ll make mistakes with money
(as we all do) but knowledge is power and I want to see my daughters and
students with the information they need not only to make money, but to make their
money work for them.
Financial literacy isn’t just for kids, of
course: BMO believes it should be a year-round focus for all Canadians.
That is why, beyond their partnership with TWOKAM, BMO launched
YourFinancialLife.com which provides Canadians with financial tips for life
events. They have a dedicated page for tips and tools on how to talk with your kids
about money and prepare for your child’s financial future (https://yourfinanciallife.bmo.com).
I dream of seeing my girls grow up to become independent,
fulfilled, healthy women – and that certainly includes financial health as
well. I appreciate the fact that BMO is helping us to do that.
Join the
conversation using the hashtag #TWOKAM and make sure to follow BMO on Twitter
(@BMO) and on Facebook (/BMOCommunity).

Disclosure: This post was
generously sponsored by BMO. Opinions are, as always, my own.

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