Many adults know how expensive holidays are and how alluring the marketing can be, but Alexandria Alikakos and Gabriela Babineau, both 13, were inspired to find out for themselves.

“Holidays should be about spending time with family, not just about the presents. We learned that companies do try to tempt you,” said Babineau while explaining their project at the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education’s (CFEE) money fair in Toronto for Talk With Our Kids About Money Day on Wednesday.

More than 7,000 schools across the country participated from their own areas, while projects from Hilltop Middle School in Etobicoke were featured at the showcase.

Gary Rabbior, president of CFEE, said the foundation’s goal for the day is to teach students to think differently about areas of finance they want to know more about and how to carry that knowledge into their futures.

“Helping kids have financial skills isn’t just about the numbers and which is the right credit card, but empowers them to build a healthier, happier life in general,” he said.

“It helped us understand money and how it will help us in the future,” Alikakos said.

Other projects highlighted at the showcase, held at Scotia Plaza on King Street West, included topics like the cost of climate change, gaming, and having a family.

Alexandra Currie and Kiki Drozd’s project on the cost of being female won first place, Rhyana Martin and Jennah Hossny took second with their project on money problems and how to avoid them, and Leticja Bingelite and Kristen Hodder won third for researching modern-day budget stability.

One more serious topic was the cost of addiction, researched by Caitlin Graham, 12, and Nicole Sabac, 13. They looked into addictions like drugs, drinking and gambling.

“We thought it would be a cool topic because Canada’s legalizing marijuana, and it’s something that’s really going to affect us as we get older,” Graham said.

“It’s really about encouraging kids to start to think seriously about the value of money,” said Phillip Crawley, publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail and MC for the event.

The Globe and Mail, April 18, 2018