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BDO Cornwall

301-132 Second St. East Suite 301,
Cornwall, Ontario
K6H 1Y4
Phone: (613) 933-6969

How to Use Credit: Counselling for Cornwall’s Tech Generation

For Cornwall parents, teaching kids the importance of wisely using credit, and counselling them on proper money management can be challenging. Canada is rapidly becoming a cash-free society and digital payments have become the norm. Unless you carefully monitor your purchases, digital payments can quickly lead to further debt and overspending. These issues demonstrate the importance of financial literacy for the next generation and beyond who will be entering a virtually cash-free society.

Canada’s digital presence

Canada’s financial landscape is changing at a rapid rate. Canada is now the world leader in digital payment methods which account for 68 per cent of overall transactions. Furthermore, many of these transactions are digital purchases, not physical items- think Netflix, iTunes or App store purchases that are one click away. These purchases tend to get tacked onto cell and internet bills without much thought, but each month they deduct more from your monthly budget. Apple Pay made its debut earlier this year offering even simpler payment methods which allow users to enter their credit or debit cards into their “wallet app” and use contactless pay via an iPhone or Apple Watch. Although digital payment methods offer convenience, studies confirm that Canadians  spend up to 30 per cent more using pay-pass or contactless pay. It’s really no wonder that the younger generation are struggling with to find their financial footing.

How parents can help kids adapt

Parents may view themselves as inadequate financial mentors due to their own possible financial state, but parents can influence healthy financial habits from the start. One way many parents begin teaching kids how to use money responsibly is to introduce a regular allowance, giving children and teens the opportunity to manage their own money. This can be given in physical cash or by the introduction of a debit card with a set daily limit. Some advantages to using debit include:

  • Security – your child isn’t carrying cash around that can easily be lost or stolen.
  • Convenience – money can be transferred easily into the child’s account and maintained by the parent. A daily spending limit can also be set.
  • Earning power – many Canadian banks offer competitive interest rates for youth accounts that can encourage a saving attitude.
  • Future relevance – when children grow up, digital pay will likely be their reality, so teaching them how to wisely use this technology now can help them in the future.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers financial literacy resources to parents and important lessons to teach kids at each age. Keeping kids interested and making lessons relevant are key, and may also be accomplished through the help of apps:

  • Practical Money Skills by Visa offers tons of relevant info and games on their website, but also offer free apps. Plan’it Prom walks teens through how to budget for their prom or formal event, from shoes to hair, with a realistic timeline to accomplish goals.
  • Kids Money is an app for younger kids that teaches the importance of saving and budgeting pocket change and birthday money.
  • Wally is ranked as one of the leading financial apps because of its comprehensive interface and convenient features. You can even take a picture of your receipts and Wally will tally your purchase and add it to the correct budget category.

Students graduating unprepared

Students graduating across Canada are often unprepared for the financial challenges of juggling a career, a living space and the financial obligations expected in the digital era. When cash is short, full-time employment scarce and credit is cheap to obtain, problems may arise, causing even young adults to seek debt relief through credit counselling or consolidation. Cornwall students graduating from university or college can expect to repay thousands of dollars in debt as they enter their careers. An undergraduate university degree can cost up to $80,000 and the average college student can expect to graduate with $28,000 in debt. Undeniably, baby boomers and Gen X parents are also financially affected whether they pay for a portion of their child’s education or subsidize their income after graduation

If you are a recent graduate who is paying down heavy student loans or consumer debt, there are debt repayment options that can help you get ahead of debt and start saving for the future. Cornwall residents with debt may benefit from credit counselling, loan consolidation or consumer proposal. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help answer any questions regarding the consumer proposal process and explain your available options.


How does your family teach financial literacy? Do you believe in using debit cards as a teaching tool for youth or do you prefer to stick with cash? Join the conversation by searching the Twitter hashtags #LetsTalkDebt #BDODebtRelief

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