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Friday, April 30, 2010

Students and Money

This week we started our Finance unit in MCR3U at the school that I teach at. I decided this year to began our unit with a discussion of how much University would cost, what the ways would be to obtain money for school, and how much debt you could have and how you can best deal with it.

University tuition has jumped on average 4.5% per year over the least decade, to the point where it is expected to cost almost $17000 per year for residence, books and tuition. This should be frightening for parents and their teenagers alike.

We then talked about the ways to get money for school: gifts, working, OSAP, personal loans and so on. The students sat in disbelief as I explained about OSAP and how it would be paid back and how much their loans would cost them on a monthly basis (and in return why I cannot afford a car).

We then spent the second day talking about more positive things: how to save your money to be a millionaire, how real estate and starting your own business have fundamentally been the most successful ways to become rich. Finally, the big picture is if you spend less than you make, you will end up being rich. We talked about stocks, bonds, RRSP, TFSAs, mutual funds and all the rest of the jargon.

Finally we talked about ways to reduce your debt. I gave the example of a mortgage, and by increasing your mortgage by any amount shaves the time and the interest off what you owe. I hope every time that I do this that at least a few people get something out of this and that students learn to save.

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