Visa Canada

Visa Canada

August 13, 2007 07:00 ET

Visa Canada: Practicalmoneyskills.ca Helps Parents and Students Sharpen Money Management Skills

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 13, 2007) - The first year of college or university doesn't just mean frosh week festivities, settling into dorm life and locating lecture halls. For most students, the transition from high school to college also marks their first steps toward financial independence. Practicalmoneyskills.ca offers cost calculators, budget templates and step-by-step instruction to help parents and students better manage their personal finances.

"The Practical Money Skills program can help students prioritize their financial goals and map out the best approach to money management," said Tania Freedman, Director, Corporate Communication, Visa Canada. "We surveyed over a thousand graduating high school students last year and while most said that they make smart financial choices, only one-third maintained a budget."

For students, the challenge seems to be integrating money management skills into their daily lives. Those who have been shown how to create a budget rarely stick to it, claiming it's too strict and hard to follow while others knew they should create a budget, but claimed the end product was "unrealistic." Both the Practical Money Skills website and booklet encourage consumers to identify S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-related) goals and breaks the budgeting process into manageable steps; making the financial planning less intimidating by encouraging students to "track, trim and target" their finances.

For parents and students, tuition may be the most obvious expense associated with college or university, but financial challenges extend well beyond the classroom. Balancing academics, part-time jobs and social lives all impact a students' financial bottom line, as does the decision to buy a car instead of taking the bus to class, or moving out of residence and into an apartment. Practical Money Skills addresses a range of life events and provides interactive cost calculators to help students navigate financial obstacles.

In an effort to make the information more accessible to students and parents, website visitors can download the Practical Money Skills booklet in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Punjabi. "There are a number of tools available through Practical Money Skills that all Canadians can use to manage their day-to-day finances and plan for the future. For students who are becoming financially independent, the information can be invaluable," continued Freedman.

About Visa

Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

Note to editors:

- The national survey was conducted online in April 2006 by Youthography. A total of 1406 male and female students aged 16 to 19 who reported being in their last year of secondary school were surveyed. The findings are accurate, plus or minus 2.6 percent, 19 times out of 20.

- An outline of S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-related) goals and budget basics can be found at www.practicalmoneyskills.ca/moneyskills/consumer/budgeting/.

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