Regular old math class doesn’t teach students about how to manage money in the real world.
That’s the message students at Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute got during a lesson in financial literacy Thursday during the comedic Funny Money for High Schools presentation.
Hosted by Canadian comic Steve Levine, students learn about things like budgeting, the ins and outs of credit card use and advice on investing in an entertaining and humourous way. They also had the chance to earn some cash by correctly answering questions or volunteering in sketches.
Levine said many students don’t know how credit cards truly work with things like compound interest and how minimum monthly payments can affect a person’s credit score. Most students don’t even know what a credit score is, he added.
“It’s trying to get them to start budgeting now because they don’t realize how much money they’re spending that’s not even their own money right now and eventually they’re going to have to be paying for things on their own,” said Levine.
Levine was written for TV shows Radio Free Roscoe and Naturally Sadie. He also teaches stand-up comedy at Second City.
One of the most important messages Levine hopes the teens walk away with is the importance of investing now.
“Most Canadians don’t worry about their future or even think about it until much later on, until they’ve already gone to university or starting working and find themselves in debt already,” he said.
The drive to get teens thinking about this now is so they don’t find themselves in serious financial trouble with credit cards, debt and big loans in the near future, Levine added.
Westgate teacher Riley Lucas said with the current financial situation in Canada and the number of people with debt, it’s important for students to learn about money management.
“A presentation like this will hopefully give them some insight into what to expect when they graduate, if they go away to school or go into the workplace,” she said.
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