Financial Planners Standards Council

Financial Planners Standards Council

December 05, 2007 08:00 ET

A New Look at SANTA: Teaching Your Children Financial Smarts at Christmas

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2007) - Financial Planners Standards Council (FPSC) and the CFP(R) professionals it certifies are offering parents tips on how to teach their kids financial skills during the holidays.

"Financial planning isn't usually top-of-mind during holiday season - but money is," says Ann Bowman, Vice President, Communications and Corporate Relations for FPSC. "As parents open their wallets to fill their kids' wish list, they should consider the merits of a discussion with their children real soon about things like budgeting and the difference between "needs" and "wants". CFP professionals are experts in discussing money matters and many have tips for parents on how to combine the spirit of giving with lessons in sound financial planning."

With a seasonal mnemonic (SANTA) to help you remember them, here are five tips particularly useful at this time of year.

1. S is for spend wisely. Think about your budget and how splurging on many gifts doesn't encourage good financial values and habits. Consider picking one major gift for your child that is lasting and memorable. This teaches the value of money and the habit of limiting desires.

2. A is for activate generosity. Consider educating your children about the abundance they enjoy and others don't. They will understand. Then consider getting them involved in charitable projects.

3. N is for Needs and Wants. Help your child understand the difference between needs and wants. Retailers sell to our wants. By teaching your children about the necessities of life and how to plan and save for their wants, you empower them to budget their money, make choices and sound purchasing decisions.

4. T is for Time. There are at least two ways to look at this, both profitable. Give time to your family through family traditions, volunteering at a community fundraiser and visiting with friends. It shows your children that time is a gift, the greatest gift they can share as they grow up. And when teaching about the true value of money, don't forget to show them examples of how time affects money through compound interest (how $1 at 5% becomes $1.05 and then, a year later, by compounding interest on interest, becomes $1.10).

5. A is for account. Consider teaching your children how to account for their time and money. Perhaps helping them keep a daily or weekly record. Having a bank account at some point will help them learn about how to plan for the future and spend wisely today.


1. Ask an expert

2. Focus on your finances

3. Plan your path

To see more on children, the holidays and financial strategies see our December Feature Article.

(FPSC) is a not-for-profit organization established in 1995 to lead the development of the financial planning profession. FPSC develops and enforces the highest standards in financial planning competency and ethics for individuals who hold CFP(R) (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(R)) certification in Canada. There are currently more than 17,000 CFP professionals in Canada and more than 100,000 individuals who have earned CFP certification in 20 countries around the world. See for more information.

NOTE TO EDITORS: For further information on FPSC and the CFP designation, please visit our online media kit at

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