That’s the sit-down session between parents and a child headed to post-secondary school. And the talk is all about money.
A study by RBC Royal Bank shows there is a gap between what parents know – or think they know – about their kids’ finances and the young person’s view of reality.
Paying for a university or college education is usually a family affair with a few stakeholders kicking in the money to finance things such as tuition, so parents probably have a reason to know what’s going on. But then that also flies in the face of the leaving the nest and independence thing.
Nonetheless, the bank’s study found that 90 per cent of parents believe they know how much debt their kids are carrying. That compares to 78 per cent of the young people who held a similar view and more than half of them said they hide their spending habits from their parents.
The bank says the need for families to talk about money is critical, but this should not be restricted to families with someone headed off to university. Too often the subject of money is never discussed at home and too many of us have to learn about financial management by the seat of our pants rather than from parents who, by definition, are more experienced in money management than their kids.