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From School Caisse to regular bank account: guiding your child toward financial independence

Posted on Monday July 08, 2019

From School Caisse to regular bank account: guiding your child toward financial independence

So, your tween will soon have their own “grown-up” bank account! In addition to starting to save toward their own goals, this means more responsibility and greater independence. The following are some suggestions for helping your child make a successful transition from the School Caisse to a conventional bank account—in other words, take their first steps toward financial independence.


Putting your children at ease talking about money

It’s important to start talking about money with your children as early as possible to dispel any misconceptions and avoid making them think it is somehow a taboo topic. Gradually incorporate financial concepts (and vocabulary!) by sharing information with your child about some of the choices you make on a daily basis. Grocery shopping, planning family trips or outings, looking at vehicle ads and considering home renovations all provide excellent opportunities to get your children thinking about money. Talk to them about priorities, saving money and how much things actually cost… and don’t be afraid to get into details!

Young people who have their own bank account and talk with their parents regularly about money perform better on financial literacy assessments, according to the recent progress report on Canada’s National Research Plan on Financial Literacy 2016-2018, published by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. People aren’t just born with sound financial habits!

Remember that you are your children’s main source of information when it comes to learning about money.


Help your children learn to set goals (e.g. mobile data plan, trip down South, activities with friends)

Many children begin earning their own money for the first time around age 14 or 15. Their first work experience is a major milestone when it comes to gaining financial independence because it initiates them in very real terms to the value of money and how to manage it. Children begin to learn about the importance of keeping their financial and work commitments and understand the value of the goods and services they use. Transitioning to full AccèsD access may also mean seeing the money they earn get deposited directly to their account.



As soon as your young worker starts earning money, guide them in keeping track of their expenses and setting a budget. In addition to being necessary, this is also an excellent learning experience. Talk together about purchases they’ve made that they’re pleased about, as well as other purchases they may have made on impulse, to help them understand how to decide what they really want to spend their hard-earned money on.

Unlike impulse purchases, careful purchases often offer greater long-term satisfaction. A conversation about the usefulness of a new bicycle (that they can use all summer long) versus a day at the arcade (which is over in a few hours), for example, may help them learn to make wiser decisions.



Talk with your child about saving money. Teach them to set aside small amounts on a weekly basis and guide them in planning for upcoming expenses. Ask them to tell you about something they might like to save up toward or an objective they want to reach, as this can help them understand the importance of setting goals. From a new skateboard or upcoming school trip to the latest video game console or stylish pair of shoes, they must have their eye on something! The My Savings Plan online tool can also be very useful in this regard.


Introduce your children to financial tools designed for their reality

Switching to a regular account, registering for AccèsD and finding a first job all come with certain changes. A young person can then:

  • receive pay by direct deposit
  • make Interac e-Transfers
  • withdraw or deposit money at any business location
  • use their debit card at any ATM
  • obtain and start using a credit card.


A cautionary word about credit cards: Spending money using plastic cards can make the expenditures seem more abstract. A debit card or even a prepaid credit card may be a wise tool for getting your child accustomed to life as a responsible consumer before getting their first credit card.


There are also a number of financial products intended for students—for example, the no-fee account and the Cash Back Card, which have been specially developed to help young people make the leap toward financial independence. Make an appointment with one of our advisors to find out which services are most appropriate for your young adult’s situation.

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