Developing positive money habits early on 

25 September 2019
Author: Wendy Abbott-Serroul

 

Understanding finances and developing good money habits can be a daunting task for many young people. The good news is that with proper guidance and a solid support system, youth can take charge of their financial situation and develop a sound foundation to carry them through adulthood.  
 
Just before turning 19,  Amanda* decided that it was time to start looking to her financial future and part of that included becoming acquainted with tax-filing. Filing taxes was something she considered an adult task and so it seemed like the right time to learn. Spurred on by her participation in e4c’s youth education and skills development training program at The Hallway Café, an employment readiness program in Edmonton, she was able to access the tax training program e4c offered.   
 
One of e4c‘s Financial Empowerment Champions (FEC) team member and a Life-skills coordinator eagerly took Amanda through all the steps of her first tax filing. As a result, Amanda received a GST tax credit and a quarterly Climate rebate. The unexpected money was a welcome surprise and allowed Amanda the opportunity to make the decision to either save or spend depending on her needs.   
 
The positive experience encouraged Amanda to learn how to file her own taxes for the upcoming year and has helped her begin to develop healthy financial habits that will serve her throughout her life. Additionally, it became apparent that there were other youth in similar situations as Amanda, accessing The Hallway Café’s programming. Now e4c is looking into how they can support The Hallway Cafe in offering income tax training for youths, so that future youth, like Amanda can take their finances into their own hands and create positive financial behaviours, including tax filing, budgeting and saving.  

*Names have been changed to protect clients' identity.
 
e4c  
e4c is a non-profit, charitable organization that has been working for almost 50 years to help vulnerable people here and now. For more information about the support they provide go to https://e4calberta.org/ 
 
FEC  
The Financial Empowerment Champions (FEC) project is a Prosper Canada initiative conducted in partnership with E4C, Family Services of Greater Vancouver, Momentum, SEED Winnipeg and Community Financial Counselling Services, and Union des consommateurs. The goal of the project is to improve the financial well-being of one million Canadians living on low incomes. Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program, the five FECs will aim to expand proven financial empowerment interventions across the country by 2020. To learn more about the project and its impacts please visit www.prospercanada.org/FEC.  

THE AUTHOR

Wendy Abbott-Serroul is the Marketing and Communications Officer at Prosper Canada. She works closely with the entire organization to identify communications needs and supports the efforts to increase awareness and the profile of Prosper Canada.

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