The Facts Behind the Modules
Most Canadians - adults and young people - need help to manage their money. Click the links
for some facts behind each of the learning modules.
Module 1: Financial Life Skills Pre-Assessment
Students in Grade 10 don't feel well prepared to handle money and want more financial education. This module shows students what they know – and what they need to learn. Of a test group of BC students who took Planning 10: Finances using The City,
71% said the topics were interesting and easy to understand. 4
Module 2: Lifestyle Reality Check
Young people often have misconceptions about finances. In a 2007 survey, American teens predicted they would earn an average annual income of $145,500 as adults – yet the average national wage in the US is about $40,000, and only 5% of the
population earns a six-figure income. 5 This module helps students understand real-life income and how it can affect their lifestyle choices.
Module 3: The Lifestage Characters
The Lifestage Characters are a group of realistic characters in an engaging setting. Through stories and lessons, they introduce financial topics in an entertaining way, and students can use the characters' financial documents to learn about their own finances.
Teachers don't have to use the Lifestage Characters or their stories to teach these lessons, but 88% of students in a test group said learning with the Lifestage Characters was interesting.
Module 4: Needs, Wants and Priorities
What's a need and what's a want? Many teens have difficulty setting priorities – which makes young people ideal targets for marketers. This module shows students how to separate needs from wants and set spending priorities, so they can live within a realistic budget.
Module 5: Income
Most students have income. Many receive allowances, gifts and payments for odd jobs, and in 2004-2005, more than 31% of Canadian teens aged 15 to 17 had part-time jobs, working an average of 13.3 hours per week. 7 In this module, students gain hands-on experience in the first steps of creating a personal budget to help manage their income.
Module 6: Expenses
In 2006, Canadian youth spent almost $3 billion in pocket money and allowance. 8 They spend their money mainly on three things – clothing, entertainment and restaurant food.
9 In this module, students look at their expenses, typical expenses of young adults and the expenses of the Lifestage Characters.
In the process they will learn more about creating a personal budget and managing their expenses.
Module 7: Budgets
A budget is a basic tool for financial management. Yet more than a million Canadian adults say they rarely or never manage to stay within their budget. 10 By learning how to prepare and use a budget, students can plan their finances and learn to live within their means.
Module 8: Savings
For most students, saving is the only way to pay for their future, whether that's more education, travelling or starting their own business. But only 20% of Canadian teenagers say they save money and do it consistently every month.
11 By learning why and how to save, students can set aside the money they'll need to achieve their goals.
Module 9: Banking Services
Financial institutions offer a wide range of accounts and other services with different features and different fees. Yet 50% of Canadians say they did not shop around before opening a new bank account. 12 This module teaches young people how to compare prices and features to find the banking services that are right for them.
Module 10: Credit Cards and Other Debt
I owe, I owe… Six in ten Canadians aged 18 to 29 say they currently have some debt, with credit card debt by far the most common, followed by student loans. 13 Yet half of credit card users don't pay their balance each month, and pay interest at rates ranging up to almost 30% per year. 14 In this module, students learn how to plan for and manage the costs of debt.
Module 11: Insurance
Most young people know that they will need insurance if they own a car, but they don't know what it will cost or how it works. Sixty-six percent of Canadian adults say they find insurance hard to understand.
15 Students learn how insurance works and how to choose insurance to manage risks in their financial future.
Module 12: Investing
When students put money in a savings account, they are investing, and investing will play a more significant role in their future. There are thousands of different investment choices available. Unfortunately, 47% of Canadians have only a basic understanding of their most recent investment.
16 This module teaches students the basics of sound investing, which they can build on after they leave high school.
Module 13: Identity Theft and Fraud
Fraud can happen to anyone, anytime – from identity theft to consumer or investment scams.
In 2007, 1.7 million Canadians reported that they were victims of identity theft, and in fact, Canadians lost $450 million to frauds and scams that year.
17 This module teaches students about some of the risks and warning flags of fraud so they are better able to protect themselves.
Module 14: Financial Plan
When students graduate, they will take responsibility for their own finances, including major expenses such as housing, car purchase and education. A financial plan can be an invaluable tool to help them achieve their lifelong financial goals. Eighty-eight percent of Canadians agree that having a financial plan is important,
but 58% don't have one. 18 In this module, students learn about a financial plan, and how they can use one to help them fulfill their dreams.
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