Back to School
April is Financial Literacy Month, and if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that educating Americans about how to manage their money can't start early enough. In a recent survey of international women's financial literacy commissioned by Visa, the U.S. ranked last among 27 countries when it came to the question: "To what extent would you say that teenagers and young adults in your country understand money management basics and are adequately prepared to manage their own money?" Only 17% of respondents expressed any confidence that young people starting out understand financial basics.
Filed under: Back to School
By Selena Maranjian
April is Financial Literacy Month, and our goal is to help you raise your money IQ. In this series, we'll tackle key economic concepts -- ones that affect your everyday finances and investments -- to help you make smarter choices with every dollar decision you face.
Today's concept: supply and demand.
Most folks are familiar with the concept of supply and demand, but most of us also don't give it much thought, which is a mistake. That's because it applies to much more than just business.
So the bubble may not be popping but the housing market is definitely slowing down. The Canadian Real Estate Association recently released its latest sales numbers that show a 1.4 per cent decline in home sales for late 2012. One factor may be recent tinkering in the mortgage market such as shortening amortization periods. This trend is particularly important because many people -- particularly young families and young professionals -- have tied their financial ships to their houses. If homes aren't moving, this impacts their value and creates a buyer's market. For families hoping to cash in on a hot market -- whether by selling or tapping into their equity -- 2013 may not be the time.
This type of education simply does not exist in any formal way, or it didn't until recently – it needs to be developed, virtually from scratch, but also in a coordinated way. Then there's the task of trying to make it seem interesting.
Across the province and around the country there is a relatively concerted effort going on to develop curriculum for students. In Ontario, for example, there's a widely integrated approach underway to develop a financial literacy program which runs from grade 4, all the way through until graduation in grade 12.
Unfortunately, a lot of the kids graduating this year and next won't have the benefit of that education. It's a gap the Investor Education Fund (IEF) hopes to fill, to some degree, with their school assembly programming. This week, the IEF is kicking financial literacy month by hosting its first-ever youth summit in Toronto.
The amount we're talking about is no small change either: Statistics Canada says those who actually complete their program and obtain certification for their credentials earn between 20% and 25% more than those who discontinue or leave their apprenticeship programs before completion.
The weather's become a bit cooler and unpredictable and no longer can we throw on our shorts and sandals and get on with our day. It's never an easy task changing up a wardrobe in anticipation of a new (colder) season. In the last week alone I've overdressed and sweated through the warmer days, then underdressed and shivered through the cooler ones.
The key to fall fashion, I've been reminded, is to dress in layers. But just because you're wearing more clothes (and often in the fall the selections become less colourful), that doesn't mean you can't have some statement pieces to keep things lively. Here are some fun fall fashion finds for under $40.
It's never an easy decision: do you steer your child towards the sport at which you would like him to excel? Do you put him in several activities to see which ones he likes best, despite the possibility of burning the little guy out?
For most parents I know (myself included), cost also comes into play and you have to make your decisions depending on what you want for your child as well as what you can manage financially. Here is a breakdown of some choices you may be considering and what you're getting for your money.
Extracurricular Sports for Your Kids
By Robyn Geary
I hate packing lunches. I didn't enjoy it when I was in school, and it's not any more appealing now that I have kids of my own. So for the past two years, I confess I've defaulted to letting my daughter buy lunch in the cafeteria. At $2.65 a pop, it seemed cheap enough -- especially on a chaotic morning, which most are. And while the choices haven't always been the healthiest, our district is making a real effort to improve the meals.
But with my son starting kindergarten this year, the cost of two lunches a day in the cafeteria comes to $5.30 per day -- $5.30 a day that adds up to $106 per month and a whopping $1,000 for the entire school year.
What's a cash-strapped mom who hates packing lunch to do? Turn to the blogs, of course!
Essential Money Tips for College Kids