Teens have grossly unrealistic expectations: BCSC
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca
Published Friday, December 2, 2011 9:04AM PST
B.C. teens lack financial savvy while having grossly unrealistic expectations about their future, according to a new survey from the BC Securities Commission.
The agency just completed a country-wide study about financial literacy of young people and found that their vision of the future is overly rosy -- which could lead to costly mistakes and major disappointment in the future.
Its results found that Canadian teens expect to earn nearly $91,000 a year in 10 years -- about three times the average income of 25 to 29 year olds with post-secondary degrees.
And nearly 75 per cent expect to own their own home within a decade, while Statistics Canada says only 40 per cent of that demographic are actually homeowners.
"Most of these kids are getting their education from their parents and the track records of Canadian adults isn't very terrific either. We're carrying six figures of debt -- and we've all been living off credit. So it's a bit of a wakeup call," said Patricia Bowles of the BCSC.
The study also found that less than half of young Canadians keep a budget and nearly four-in-10 admitted they don't know how much they've earned and spent in the past month. Thirteen per cent admit sharing financial passwords and pins.
B.C. students actually scored higher on the financial literacy test than the national average. That's probably because B.C. is one of the only provinces that actually has a financial life skills program in the high school curriculum, which is normally taught in Grade 10.
Teens at Churchill Secondary School in Vancouver agreed that more time needs to be spent teaching personal finance in high school, including Grade 12 student Sally Choi, who took the finance class two years ago.
"I didn't really pay attention because it didn't sound real to me that I'd be going out there so…I think it would be better if they could move it to Grade 12 where it's a bit more realistic and people would pay a bit more attention to it," she said.
The BC Securities Commission produces a large binder of educational material which is available for free to B.C. teachers who teach financial literacy. It contains up-to-date study modules on everything from budgets to banking and financial fraud.
Students and parents can also access the course material free online through this link.
Watch CTV News Thursday for a full report from Lynda Steele...
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