Brian Smith is an employment counsellor and a financial coach at Carrefour jeunesse-emploi Côte-des-Neiges in Montréal, Quebec. He works with young visible minorities and recent immigrants on the Monnaie-Money project. Born in Montréal, Brian played football for Boston University, where he studied Sociology.
Every day, Brian meets many young people who have difficulty managing their personal finances. He says they have debit and credit cards, but don't know how to control their spending because of social pressures.
"At the Carrefour, the environment is not like at school — it's more informal. Young people come here with their questions, and we try to adapt our tools to ensure they get the information they need," says Brian. "Now we see young people working and being more responsible. Financial literacy training gives them the necessary discipline."
Brian uses FCAC's website regularly to help and orient youth he meets. He particularly likes the fact that he can find, at the same place, all the tools he needs to help a young client, and that the tools are easy to use and to understand.
"I find the tools really effective. With financial literacy, anything is possible."
This success story is part of a series of testimonials that can be viewed on FCAC's website at fcac.gc.ca.
With financial literacy, anything is possible. My name is Brian Smith, and I work at Carrefour jeunesse-emploi Côte-des-Neiges in Montréal as an employment counsellor and financial coach. Specifically, I work with young visible minorities and recent immigrants on the Monnaie-Money project. What this project aims to do is help young people by providing them with information and training to improve their situation and give them more options.
Something we've noticed is that young people are consuming too much. They have debit cards and credit cards but they don't know how money works. We also talk about the danger of fraud. They don't know how to control their spending because there are so many social pressures. With financial literacy training, they can draw up an action plan and try to change the way they live. Now we see young people working and being more responsible. Financial literacy training gives them the necessary discipline.
I was born here, in Montréal, and went to university in the United States. I played football for Boston University. It was football that really taught me discipline. It was hard for me to understand why young people don't take responsibility for their finances. That's something I started doing when I was 11 — I had a little job and everything. And my father always said: "Brian, don't waste your money." That gave me confidence with money and taught me control, responsibility and discipline.
At the Carrefour, the environment is not like at school — it's more informal. Young people come here with their questions, and we try to adapt our tools to ensure they get the information they need. There are several tools on the FCAC's website. There are links to The Money Belt. There is also MoneyTools.ca and The City. There are also publications for everyone on opening a bank account, budgeting and how to save money with a credit card.
FCAC's site helps me because I don't need to go looking for all sorts of information. Everything we use is on the site. It's easy for young people to navigate, plus there are games and quizzes. I find the tools really effective. They are straightforward and very easy for anyone to use. FCAC is there to help you make the best choices for success. Make good choices. Learn!