It's never too early to start teaching your children basic money know-how that will give them the foundation to build some financial savvy for the future.
Serge Pepin, vice president, Investment Strategy, BMO Asset Management, says, "The sooner parents start talking to their kids about money, the better prepared they will be when they start saving and investing for the future.
"Even very young children can benefit from learning basic investing skills and the importance of setting financial goals."
But did you know that talking about money is just as important.
According to a new poll by BMO Financial Group, 96 per cent of Canadians believe teaching children about money matters is key to a healthier economy.
Believe it or not, Easter is the second biggest gift-giving holiday occasion for Canadians next to Christmas.
From organizing an Easter egg hunt for your kids to buying gifts, flowers, food, candy, visiting relatives -- it all adds up. And, if you didn't already have it included in your annual household budget you may be stretching it a little bit.
But if you're late getting out of the gate, how do you plan on funding your child's post-secondary education?
Graduating high school students, like my daughter in Grade 12, are just now starting to get their acceptance letters to colleges and universities. And, according to a new report by BMO Wealth Institute, a four-year university degree can cost upwards of $60,000 and yet three-quarters of Canadian parents are not prepared and only half have taken advantage of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs).
Personally speaking, I have never taken a vacation during March Break. My children and I have always stayed local and have still had fun.
The average household debt is sitting at 164 per cent, so why go crazy spending money you don't have to keep up with the Jones' just because it's March Break.
Elisabeth Donati, author of The Ultimate Allowance, looks at kids these days -- and by kids she actually means anyone under 30 -- and wonders what exactly they're being taught at home and at school.
"Our children aren’t learning how to take care of themselves … emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually or financially," she maintains.
"They aren’t learning how to think through problems and solve them. And they aren’t learning how to think globally for the most part. Everything is geared toward solving problems individually when in reality, we solve problems best when we work on them together."
Donati decided to compile a list of what she would want kids to learn in her school, if she started one. Here’s a sample what she's come up with so far.
If you have children, there may be some tax benefits you can take advantage of when filling out your income tax return this year.
For instance, if your children play sports such as soccer, baseball or even participate in dance classes you may be able to claim up to $500 per child for a non-refundable tax credit of up to $75 for each child. It is a great incentive to get your children involved in physical activity and it helps offset your user fees. And, if your child qualifies for the disability amount you may also be able to claim an additional $500 as long as a minimum of $100 is paid for registration or membership fees for a prescribed fitness program.
Does it pay for both parents to work when the kids arrive or for one to stay home?
Well, lifestyle issues aside, there's clearly no right or wrong answer -- but it does pay to do the math, says Andy Dappen, author of Shattering the Two-Income Myth.
Some of his numbers are a bit dated for this economy, but the exercise is certainly worthwhile, maintains one stay-at-home mom, who blogs at On One Income, and concludes that the few extra dollars just weren't worth it.
When considering whether two paycheques will pay off, you have to figure out how much of the lower earner's salary will be eaten by dual-income expenses.
For instance, the "working tax" on a second income includes childcare costs, work-related expenses, lost perks, and additional household costs. You may also find yourself in a higher tax bracket where you end up giving the government a bigger percentage of your overall family income.