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Cha-ching! Kids teach us the importance of money smarts for TWOKAM Day 2019

Jahneya Blackwood, 11, left, and C’annah Costain, 10, presented on the cost of shoes for the TWOKAM money fair in Toronto on April 17. (CFEE)

20 teams of students gather in Toronto for money fair on financial literacy

Do you spend money? On Fortnite skins, concerts, emoji packs, or otherwise?

For most kids, the answer is probably yes.

But how often do you talk about money — how to spend it, save it and make it last?

According to the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE), a non-profit organization that teaches kids money smarts, we should be talking about these things a whole lot more.

Talk With Our Kids About Money Day

That’s why on Wednesday, thousands of kids, teachers and parents across Canada took part in Talk With Our Kids About Money Day (TWOKAM).

The day is part of a year-round CFEE program of the same name that gives teachers and parents the resources they need to give kids an early start on developing good money habits.

In Toronto, 20 teams of students in grades 5 and 6 from Sprucecourt Public School gathered at Scotiabank Plaza to present ideas on how to be smart with money.

Each group presented to a panel of judges with financial expertise, including Scotiabank’s vice-president of operating practices, Ahmad Dajani.

Meet the winners

Check out the three ideas the judges thought would give the most bang for your buck:

First place: Living on minimum wage

Naseem Omayer, 10, left, Nusaybah Islam, 11, centre, and Karthiha Sriranjan, 11, who came in first place, presented on the kinds of sacrifices and skills necessary for living on minimum wage. (CFEE)

Second place: Smarter cafeteria

Prohor Hossain, 12, left, Jason Chen, 12, centre, and Ishrat Rahman, 11, who came in second place, presented on how their school cafeteria has saved a lot of money by buying in bulk and switching to reusable dishware. (CFEE)

Third place: Gamertags and pricetags

ykyta Diachuk, 11, left, William Galati, 10, centre, and Malik McFarlane, 12, who came in third place, presented on how kids are spending money differently as more and more gaming platforms switch to a free-to-play model with in-game purchases. (CFEE)

Their teacher, Carolyn Ball — who has participated in TWOKAM day for several years now — stressed how these skills don’t just disappear.

“We’ve seen that the idea of having a financial plan sticks with students,” she said.

“I see students who have participated in the past still using these skills, even years later.”

Why is this important?

Gary Rabbior, president of the CFEE, believes that getting a head start on money smarts helps kids to grow to be healthier and happier adults.

“We’re learning more and more that there is a strong correlation between people who can manage their money well and good mental health,” said Rabbior.

“You’re really laying down the foundation for how you can live a healthy and happy life.”

By CBC Kids News – April 17, 2019

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