The majority of Quebec parents discuss personal finances with their children… but not necessarily important questions. And not very often.
Finally, encouraging financial data: in eight out of ten Quebec families, financial questions have already been discussed with the children. Among parents whose children are under 15, the proportion is 53%.
This is what reveals the survey conducted from November 2 to 9 among 1,094 respondents by Tact for the Financial Planning Institute (previously the Quebec Institute of Financial Planning, or IQPF), the results of which are revealed this Monday.
“What is surprising is to see that there are a lot of parents who talk about personal finances with their children,” rejoices Chantal Lamoureux, President and CEO of the Institute.
But do they talk about it often enough?
Only 22% do it frequently. The majority of parents only discuss it occasionally (40%) or rarely (19%).
And at what age? Among parents who had talked about finances with their children, 37% began the discussion when their child was already 18 or older.
And most importantly, are they covering the right topics?
“We find that a little worrying,” emphasizes Chantal Lamoureux. Basically, they talk about subjects that we perhaps consider a little lighter: the value of money, how to open a bank account, etc. »
The survey conducted for the Financial Planning Institute also looked at the financial knowledge of adults.
“Among the people who said they had good financial knowledge, only 13% said they acquired their knowledge in CEGEP and 6% in high school,” notes the president of the Institute. It is therefore not at school that we learn how to manage our money or our assets. This is not what is happening with the programs we currently have in place. It happens later, either with family or with professionals. »
Which begs the question: How can parents get involved in their child’s financial education?
Chantal Lamoureux – who claims to be a specialist in childhood education – suggests approaching financial topics as they arise in daily life.
“Parents can say why they buy one thing and not another,” she gives as an example. Our children see us shopping online. It is important that they understand that it is not just a click, but that there is a payment and that they will have to give real money. »
The principles of planning and saving can be learned early.
“With a child who wants a bicycle, we can show them how to plan to make the purchase, do the calculations with them,” she suggests. The bicycle is worth $400, but we can explain to him that there are taxes added. I think it makes things very concrete for children, and it makes them revise their math concepts! »
She recognizes that some subjects are more complex for young children.
“But when they reach 13, 14 or 15 years old, young people work. If they are of working age, I think they are old enough to understand and have these discussions. When we understand the concept of compound interest, if only that, it makes us realize that small amounts, when we start young, will add up to larger amounts later. »
“I think it’s important to understand these things quickly, to save our children from making mistakes. »
To acquire some fundamental notions themselves, parents can watch the documentary series Economic Format, in 10 episodes of 15 to 20 minutes, produced by Savoir media in collaboration with the Institute of Financial Planning.
“It’s not for young children, but teenagers may very well be interested,” comments its president. There is no jargon, there are no big acronyms and it is made very accessible by the Savoir media team. »
The Financial Planning Institute website also offers some general public tools, such as a life expectancy estimator based on gender and age and a capital accumulation calculator. “It can be a nice, easy tool to have a discussion with young people to understand the concept of compound interest,” suggests the president of the organization.
But nothing beats a concrete demonstration.
“I think that children are able to understand a lot of things quickly,” concludes Chantal Lamoureux. Someone recently told me that he went to see his financial planner and he brought his teenager with him. »
Another way to generate interest.