Visa Canada's Practical Money Skills survey reveals that money talk at home better prepares students for financial independence

    Four out of five students surveyed who talk about financial planning are
    more likely to develop and maintain a budget

    TORONTO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - With the back to school season well underway,
results from Visa Canada's new Practical Money Skills survey shows that
parents can play a pivotal role in helping their teenage children become more
financially responsible. Surveying more than one thousand Canadian students in
their final year of high school, the survey shows that respondents frequently
turn to their parents (77 percent) for information on financial planning.
Respondents were also more likely to develop and maintain a budget compared to
those who had never discussed financial planning with a parent or guardian (24
percent versus 15 percent).
    "The website helps students take charge of their
money with its no-nonsense approach," said Amy Cole, Acting Head of Corporate
Communications, Visa Canada. "It includes handy online resources for managing
expenses and drafting budgets that are appropriate for parents and students.
Visiting the site is also a great way for parents to initiate discussions with
their children about making responsible financial decisions."
    More than 80 percent of graduating high school students surveyed will
attend post-secondary institutions next year, with half indicating they will
rely on student loans. While almost 80 percent of students surveyed are
realistic about the amount of debt they will accumulate, almost two-thirds
indicated unrealistic expectations about their future starting salaries and
their ability to repay student loans. Only 15 percent of students surveyed
expressed concern about long-term financial goals, indicating they may lack
awareness about the need for long-term financial planning. Interestingly, more
than three-quarters of students surveyed agree that money management and
budgeting should be mandatory school curriculum.
    For students surveyed who have found it tough to follow a budget, the
challenge seems to be integrating money management skills into their daily
lives. When asked the primary reasons why they don't stick to a financial
plan, 30 percent of respondents said that it was "totally unrealistic" and
27 percent believed it was "way too strict and hard to follow." The Practical
Money Skills website and booklet can help as both encourage students to
identify S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and
time-related) goals and breaks the budgeting process into manageable steps;
making the financial planning process less intimidating by encouraging
students to "track, trim and target" their finances.
    "While nearly half of the students surveyed felt prepared or very
prepared for managing money after high school, one-third of respondents had
never created a budget before," said Cole. "The tools available through help high school, university and college students to
manage their day-to-day finances and create a realistic plan to achieve
financial independence."
    In an effort to make the information more accessible to students and
parents, visitors to can download the Practical Money
Skills brochure in English, French, Spanish, and Chinese. Punjabi and Arabic
versions are scheduled to be available in October 2008.

    About Visa

    Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network
providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes
consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered
under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys
acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global
ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170
countries. For more information, visit

    Note to editors:

    The national survey was conducted online in August 2008 by Youthography
for Visa Canada. A total of 1,017 male and female students aged 16 to 19 who
reported being in their last year of secondary school or going into their
first year of post-secondary schooling were surveyed. The findings are
accurate, plus or minus 3.06 percent, 19 times out of 20.
    An outline of S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and
time-related) goals and budget basics can be found at

For further information:

For further information: Carla Morin, Visa Canada, (416) 860-8850,; Janine Allen, Fleishman-Hillard, (416) 645-3657,

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