Family financial literacy more important than ever

Over the past year Canadian families have seen COVID-19 impact everything from their physical and mental health to their children’s education and their personal finances. With many families doing homeschooling and spending more time at home, the time to address the family’s financial literacy together has never come at a better time.

The economic impact of the pandemic has caused many families to live on a reduced income, which can lead to added stress and ultimately have an impact on children. According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, parents who worried about money were more likely to have hyperactive and anxious kids compared to those who didn’t worry about money.

Talking to children about financial literacy during times of crisis provides an opportunity to equip them with the skills they need to prepare and thrive in emergency situations. Luckily, ABC Life Literacy Canada has just released a new workbook from its HSBC Family Literacy First program that helps families do just that. The workbook, entitled A Trip to the Amusement Park, is part of the Numbers & Cents series that focuses on family financial literacy. The workbook is available in English, French and Simplified Chinese.

A Trip to the Amusement Park can be downloaded for free at FamilyLiteracyFirst.ca and covers basic math such as addition and fractions, as well as timely topics such as financial setbacks and planning for unexpected expenses.

In addition to the downloadable workbook, several short instructional videos on each of the activities will be available. The videos will be recorded by HSBC employee volunteers who will walk families through each of the activities, providing a more interactive learning experience.

“It’s never too early to start talking to your kids about money and give them the confidence they need to live a financially secure life,” says Mack Rogers, Executive Director of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “We once again thank HSBC Bank Canada for their continued support of this program, which has proven to be more important now than ever.”

The HSBC Family Literacy First program was created in 2015 to bring together parents and children to have fun while learning as a family. A Trip to the Amusement Park is the 15th workbook in the program which includes more than 80 stories and activities, all of which are written in clear language. The workbooks cover a variety of family literacy activities and are ideal for families with children aged six to 11.

“The time has never been better to learn at home as a family,” says David Kuo, Head of Branch Network, Ontario, HSBC Canada. “As a participant in the program myself, I have seen the positive impact when families build their numeracy and money management skills together. We’re proud to support families across the country on their financial literacy journey.”

The HSBC Family Literacy First program has reached families in each province and territory and the materials have been downloaded and distributed more than 835,000 times. Hundreds of HSBC employees from coast-to-coast continue to participate through in-person and virtual workshop facilitation.

To learn more about the program and to access the workbooks, visit FamilyLiteracyFirst.ca.