Financial literacy is an essential life skill

November 01, 2017

Canadian personal debt is at a record high. Canadian youth are growing up in a time in which spending is easier than ever and it can seem like debt is a way of life. What is worse is that in so many cases, Canadian youth may not be building the skills they need to manage money appropriately and successfully throughout their life.

Financial literacy involves the understanding of basic financial concepts and the ability to use that information to make wise personal and financial decisions.  Being financially literate helps us to effectively manage a budget, choose the right financial products and prepare for life events, including buying a house or retirement. Financial literacy isn’t a skill just for adults; it is a skill that all youth must also have.

You are never too young to start to understand the principles of good money management. Understanding how to build a budget, plan for the future, and how to balance a bank account are skills that we must instill in our children each day. Developing the awareness, skills, and confidence in making financial decisions is critical in establishing life-long positive behaviours.

Critical choices are made at an early age, and that influences what the debt load of young people will be in the early stages of their post-secondary education and careers. Early financial education encourages positive actions and attitudes toward finances.

This is something that JA has understood for over 65 years.  

JA supports the development of financial literacy knowledge and skills of our youth through the delivery of in-class programs by our dedicated volunteers in classrooms across the country. We have  programs offered from elementary to high school dedicated to improving the financial literacy of our students.

At JA, we know that building and engaging youth at a young age help them ensure they have the skills with them throughout their life.  We also know that financial literacy education makes a significant impact.  Research conducted for JA by the Boston Consulting Group showed us that over 75% of Achievers (students that went through our program) cite JA as having a significant impact in developing financial literacy and decision making skills. In fact, Achievers are 3x less likely to spend more than they earn. JA programs are making a positive impact on today’s youth by putting financial literacy concepts into practice. 

JA Canada is pleased to recognize and celebrate Financial Literacy Month as an essential time to continue the discussion on the importance of financial literacy an essential life skill. Each day across Canada, JA volunteers deliver financial literacy programs in classrooms. As the largest youth financial literacy educator in the country, JA offers a variety of national programs, which help students develop money management skills and habits that they can take through their lives. JA programs have empowered students to learn to make smart, lifelong financial choices and we will continue to provide our programs to even more students across the country. Throughout the month, let’s focus on how we can build a stronger foundation of knowledge and support in helping our youth become financially literate. 

Learn more about Financial Literacy Month, and see how JA Canada is helping to support our leaders of tomorrow.

Our mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.