Financial literacy 101 - MoneySense

Financial literacy 101

Personal finance curriculum to be mandatory next year in two provinces, but at least one teacher is ahead of the curve.


The federal task force on financial literacy is set to release a list of recommendations in December with the aim of helping Canadians to better manage their money. While its main challenge will likely be engaging younger consumers in the decidedly un-cool subject of personal finance, an Ontario teacher is laying the groundwork for a money-savvy generation by framing the lessons in ways that appeal to his students.

London South Collegiate Institute business teacher Jeff Balch frames his business and accounting classes around issues such as handling credit cards, cell phone bills and saving for a trip. The nexus of emotion and finance are also discussed in an effort to distinguish between needs, wants and priorities.

Further topics include the real cost of their post-secondary education, investing and saving for retirement. The trick, he says, is to have the lesson make sense for them.

Manitoba and Ontario will put financial literacy into their curricula in September, 2011.