By Katherine Matiko, Communications Coordinator, Catholic Family Service
Five young fathers recently learned new money management skills as part of their participation in Catholic Family Service’s Fathers Moving Forward program.
Dads Money Management is offered to fathers aged 16-26 after they have participated in Being a Dad or Parenting Together, other groups offered by Fathers Moving Forward.
After completing learning modules on budgeting and RESPs, banking, credit, assets and consumerism, the young dads said they felt more prepared to support their children financially.
“I stopped buying coffee and breakfast sandwiches and make them at home now. That feels awesome to say,” one father said after completing the budgeting session.
“I had nothing in my savings account before,” said another. “Now that I’ve cut down on smokes and stopped shopping excessively on the weekends, I have $885 in my savings account.”
Another participant has decided to consolidate his debt by working with Money Mentors, a not-for-profit credit counselling agency that helps families and individuals recover from financial crisis.
The fathers were supportive of one another during the session, providing leads on jobs and sales that would help them save money, said Rachael Flett, Dads Money Management group facilitator.
“One young man brought in a Canadian Tire flyer and showed it to another participant, pointing out all of the deals on tools that were on that week,” Rachael said. “There was a lot of support within this group.”
Shane Lynch, Fathers Moving Forward Coordinator, said financial literacy is important to men who become fathers because they often see their support as financial first.
“We see this with young fathers, too,” Shane said. “Many of our young dads who experience the normal stress associated with becoming a new parent find relief in knowing they can provide financial support, which they view as creating a better quality of life for their child.
“For many young fathers, it may also be a step towards breaking an intergenerational cycle of poverty.”
Fathers Moving Forward is offered to fathers and fathers-to-be of infants whose mothers are registered at the Louise Dean Centre, or are residents at Highbanks, participants in Motherhood Matters, or connected to agencies affiliated with the Healthy Babies Network. Fathers Moving Forward is also available to young dads who attend the Calgary Achievement Centre for Youth or are connected to the Sheldon Kennedy POST Team. For more information, please contact Program Coordinator Shane Lynch at 403-205-8505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Louise Dean Centre is a partnership between Catholic Family Service, Calgary Board of Education and Alberta Health Services. Louise Dean Centre provides pregnant and parenting teens, their children and families with educational and health care support, as well as helping them deal with the emotional and social needs that come with pregnancy and parenting.