And they said the sex talk was hard

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By Daniela Gysler

Sending the kids off to university sends parents scrambling to prepare their little ones for life outside the nest.

The list is simple enough to remember: don’t do drugs, don’t drink too much, don’t skip class, and don’t have sex…er…be safe.

But according to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, one crucial topic gets missed entirely because parents find the financial talk more uncomfortable than that talk about the birds and the bees.

It’s not that parents don’t want to have the financial talk, said Elaine Sequeira of the Royal Bank of Canada. “I think it’s just because parents don’t know how to have the talk.”

A specialist in private banking and wealth management, Sequeira has tricks that will not only teach you finances, but keep your wallet fat.

According to Sequeira, students should know about:

Budgeting basics: write down income sources and expenses. If there is a surplus then there are savings.

The spend-save-share concept: when you receive money, put about 10 per cent in your savings account ASAP. Put a similar amount aside for a charitable donations and the rest of the money is left to spend.

Online budgeting: Sequeira recommends online budgeting to help you record all your expenses and income. While RBC does have resources on their site, you can also try the government of Canada Canlearn calculator at:

Deceptive credit card companies: They usually offer deals and give students easy access to credit cards. Easy access to a card does not translate to money in your pocket. “The key to managing credit is to keep it simple,” Sequeira said. “Spend only what you can afford to repay and make all of your payments on time.”

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