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Capital One Canada Back to School Survey Finds Parents Need to Talk Dollars and Cents with Their Kids

August 31, 2006 at 12:00 AM EDT

Capital One encourages parents to use annual back to school shopping excursions to teach practical money skills

Toronto, ON (August 31, 2006) – The results of a new survey by Capital One Canada show that while an overwhelming majority of Canadian parents (81 percent) consider themselves to be positive financial role models for their kids, most are missing practical daily opportunities to talk to their teens about the basics of money. The national survey of Canadian teens and their parents found that only 15 percent of Canadian teenagers say that their parents have discussed how much they are going to spend on them for back to school shopping and worked out a budget. Most notably, 77 percent of teens are looking to their parents for guidance and eager to learn more about a variety of money management topics including budgeting, saving and credit cards.

“Parents may think their kids are uninterested in learning about money management, but our survey findings tell us a different story – teens are eager to learn about money and make financial decisions of their own,” says Diana Don, director of financial education at Capital One. “It's important for parents to actively engage and talk to their children about money. Annual back to school shopping excursions provide a great opportunity to work together and develop a budget to help teens sharpen their financial judgment skills.”

Other key survey findings revealed more about teens' knowledge of money management and whether or not they'll contribute to back to school shopping this year.

  • While the majority of Canadian teens say they learn about money management from their parents, nearly one-third (29 percent) say they learn these skills from their own experiences such as having a job or through personal spending. Only eight percent reported having financial education in school and nine percent have not learned about money management at all.
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of Canadian teens would like to learn more about budgeting, however, only 13 percent say that their parents have planned a back to school budget with them.
  • More than half (53 percent) of Canadian teens plan to use their own money on back to school purchases this year.

Capital One's survey also identified some interesting facts about back to school shopping lists, spending levels and differences among teen girls and boys when it comes to money management.

Which money topics interest teens most?

Teenage boys and girls (49 percent of boys versus 50 percent of girls) share an almost equal interest in learning more about saving and savings options. Teenage girls express a greater interest in learning about budgeting (50 percent of girls versus 41 percent of boys) and credit cards (34 percent of girls versus 29 percent of boys). Teenage boys are more interested in learning about the stock market (14 percent of boys versus eight percent of girls).

What items are on this year's back to school list?

Traditional school supplies such as notebooks, backpacks, folders, pencils and clothes top the back to school shopping list for Canadian parents and teens. However, parents and teens differ slightly when it comes to purchasing items such as electronics (PDA, iPod) – two percent of parents expect to shop for electronics this year, while seven percent of teens hope to do so.

How much are parents and teens spending?

Nearly 40 percent of parents plan to spend more than $125 per child on back to school purchases. More than half (56 percent) of parents indicate that they will be spending the same this year as last, and 23 percent say they plan to spend more. Teens are also contributing to the shopping bill – one-quarter plan on spending over $50 of their own money on back to school items. Teen girls plan on spending more of their money than boys – thirty percent plan to spend over $50 on back to school purchases (versus 19 percent of boys).

Financial education: What parents and teens can do to shop smart

“When it comes to educating kids about finance, the most important thing parents can do is get involved,” added Don. Capital One offers parents these tips for working with their child to develop good money management skills.

  • Make back to school shopping a family affair: It's a great opportunity for kids to learn valuable hands-on lessons from their parents.
  • Do your homework: Talk to teachers and try to get a list of the required school supplies needed.
  • Crunch numbers together – establish a budget: Determine how much you're able to spend in advance and stick to that amount.
  • Make a list: Prepare your shopping list in advance. Try to distinguish between “needs” and “wants” on the list and prioritize the needs first!
  • Shop smart: Make sure you shop around for the best price and the best quality. You want purchases to last.

For additional help, parents and students can rely on resources such as “There's Something About Money” homepage at created by the Canadian Bankers Association to provide financial literacy information for teachers, parents and students.

Survey Methodology
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of Capital One Canada. The poll was conducted from August 8 to August 14, 2006 and is based on a randomly selected sample of 1338 Canadian households from the Ipsos-Reid Online Panel. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 2.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire Canadian population with children been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

About Capital One
Located in Toronto, Ontario, Capital One has offered Canadian consumers a range of competitive MasterCard® credit cards since 1996, when the company first introduced the Platinum MasterCard® in Canada. Capital One Canada is a division of Capital One Bank, a subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation of McLean, Virginia (NYSE: COF).

Contacts: Diana Don, Capital One
Tel: (416) 228-5171