CALGARY, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - The Certified General Accountants' Association
of Alberta (CGA Alberta) today launched My Money $ My Future, a campaign aimed at improving high school students' ability to make
informed and effective decisions when it comes to managing their
Canadians' level of financial literacy is worrisome. A 2009 CGA Canada
research report found that each Canadian household owed $1.42 for each
dollar they earned, up from $1.16 in 2005. More than 25% of Canadian
adults have no savings, and almost 50% have only a basic understanding
of their most recent investment. The relative ease of taking on debt is
a factor in why young people aren't as well prepared in financial
management as they need to be, suggests John Carpenter MBA FCGA, Chief
Executive Officer of CGA Alberta.
"Canadians need a better understanding of the financial choices
available to them and the consequences of those choices," said
Carpenter. "Our attitude toward credit needs to adapt, and that must
start in the classroom. Understanding money is crucial. The more
students understand their finances, the better they will be able to
manage their money and achieve their goals as adults. When it comes
time to decide what their next steps in life will be, their choices
will not be restricted by their finances."
My Money $ My Future presents financial literacy from a student's perspective and focuses on
issues relevant to them now and in the future. The student handbook and
website teaches students to set and carry out a budget, plan and save,
and offers helpful tips to increase income and decrease spending.
Students will gain the tools they need to make informed decisions for
managing debt, planning for post-secondary education and preparing for
CGA Alberta is working in cooperation with the Calgary and Edmonton
Catholic and Public School Boards to distribute the handbooks. "We
value strong relationships with our community partners and we are proud
to have worked with CGA Alberta on this resource, " said Merla
Bolender, System Principal of the Career and Technology Strategy with
the Calgary Board of Education. "We are committed to providing students
with a solid foundation in understanding their finances at as early an
age as possible. Having enthusiastic community partners like CGA
Alberta working with us makes our public education system truly world
class," she said.
CBE students can expand on the basics of financial management studied in
their Career and Life Management (CALM) course in high school through
further study of course such as Financial Management, Investment
Planning, Personal Taxation, Accounting and Personal Financial
Information. These learning opportunities are available through the
Career and Technology curriculum to better equip students for their
future. "The CGA resource is a great fit for these curriculum
choices," added Bolender.
The need to improve financial literacy is an issue raised by more than
accountants. Lesley Scorgie, Calgary-based author of Rich by Thirty and Rich by 40, books specializing in teaching young adults money management skills,
says financial literacy is an essential life skill that has never been
more important. "With the cost of a basic undergraduate degree upwards
of $30,000-$40,000, students will be faced with more debt than previous
generations. The earlier they can build skills to help navigate through
debt and personal finances, the better off they will be in making
decisions that contribute to their bottom line," she said.
The Alberta Government also recognizes the importance of financial
literacy. "As financial products and services become increasingly
complex, a solid foundation and understanding of the fundamentals--such
as this campaign helps establish--will pay dividends for years to
come," said the Honourable Lloyd Snelgrove, Alberta's Minister of
Finance and Enterprise and President of Treasury Board. "Building up
financial literacy makes for smarter, better-informed consumers, more
profitable businesses, and ultimately, a more competitive and
prosperous Alberta," he added.
My Money $ My Future gives students tools to plan financially for their next steps in life.
Teachers are provided with engaging resources to help students learn
about financial literacy, including a student handbook, website, and
CGA speaker representatives. The topic is presented in a compelling
format that encourages the student to continue learning outside the
"Learning effective and relevant financial management knowledge, skills,
and attitudes is a lifelong investment," said Carpenter. "The key is to
get students engaged to start learning basic financial management and
planning skills now. My Money $ My Future helps students define their short and long term goals, understand the
costs associated with those goals, and then equips them with the tools
to plan financially so they can reach those goals."
The Certified General Accountants' Association is responsible for the
education, regulation and promotion of CGAs in Alberta. There are more
than 75,000 CGA members and students working across the country and
around the world, at every level and in every sector. CGA is the
fastest growing accounting designation in Canada and is the designation
of choice for students pursuing an accounting career in Alberta. For
more information about CGA Alberta, please visit the web-site at www.cga-alberta.org
SOURCE Certified General Accountants Association of Alberta
For further information:
For more information on the My Money $ My Future campaign, visit: www.mymoneymyfuture.ca.
For more information on CGA Alberta, visit www.cga-alberta.org.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Vice President, Communications and Government Relations