Educating the Children

Scott McEachern |

Advocis (The Financial Advisors Association of Canada) has teamed up with the Junior Achievement Program to educate students on Financial Literacy. This month, Scott went into a class of grade 8s to educate students on the keys to success.

Below is Scott’s favourite story:

When asking students to come up with a monthly budget, the lowest initial guess for monthly expenses was $750 and the highest was only $1,400. They really had no idea how much a person pays towards monthly expenses, but they were about to find out!!

We gave them an exercise – no budget – to live the lifestyle they wanted. They picked their house, their car, their cable plans, etc. Some students had monthly expenses of $6,000+. Then we gave them a job – a minimum wage job. Students were shocked, even frustrated, at the amount their lifestyles had to change to adapt to this income. We then gave them a better paying job, after pursuing a university or college degree. They found it was much more manageable. It was truly an eye opening experience and I’m excited that they were so excited to work through it. Some kids felt bad their cell phones cost their parents so much money and one student even made a commitment to take shorter showers to lower the hydro bill.

The most amazing part was that so many kids decided to donate their extra leftover money from their budget to charity. We thought it was a great gesture and suggested they put a certain amount in their budget each month because as we all know, life happens, and there never seems to be as much left over at the end of each month as we want.

I look forward to next year already!