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All you need to know about Money Matters: Take Charge!

Financial education is a concern for governments and communities and a hot topic in the news around the world. The introduction of a required course for Secondary 5 students in 2017 marked a major milestone in youth financial education in the province. Although there are no similar courses in the rest of Canada, personal finance content has been added to various courses, some of which are required (in Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador) and some of which are optional (in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick).

Despite these developments, knowledge about teens’ financial literacy and behaviour and their relationships with money and personal finance remains limited. Practical tools to help teens identify their own financial goals so they can pursue and improve their financial well-being are virtually nonexistent. This project comes in to fill this void.

Study Objectives

Money Matters: Take Charge! is a project on young Quebecers’ aged 15 to 19 financial literacy and their relationship with money. The project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the basic principles of personal finance among young people. It also aims to help them think things through and guide them in planning for their financial future.

To do so, an extensive survey will be held throughout November 2024 to mark the Financial Literacy Month. Results will provide an overview of financial literacy in Quebec youth. This will be the 2nd edition on this project launched in 2022.

What makes the project unique? As a participant, young people will receive personalized feedback based on their answers that will show the «financial path» they have taken thus far and point them in the best direction to achieve their financial goals. And there you have it, a distinctive project that benefits directly to youth!

There are two ways to participate in the project: on a one-time basis by completing a single survey throughout the month of November or participate on an ongoing basis as part of the longitudinal component of the project over the next decades. The idea behind the longitudinal component is to follow participants over time to shed light on what helps them achieve their goals, and to help guide them more successfully on their financial journey. The decision to participate in a single survey or to register in the longitudinal component of the project is entirely up to young people. It’s up to them to choose!

The first survey was held in November 2022.

Stay tuned for the next coming survey dates! Coming soon!

Overall Objectives

  • Trace a portrait of personal financial literacy in young Quebecers aged 15 to 19
  • Study their financial behaviours and improve their personal financial literacy
  • Get them thinking in a productive way about how to achieve their financial goals
  • For the longitudinal study: Follow young Quebecers over time to provide a better understanding of the factors that help them successfully achieve their goals

Specific Objectives

  • Introduce (or reintroduce) teens to the main aspects of personal finance through the survey and improve their knowledge of various personal finance principles and topics using videoclips and hands-on roleplay scenarios
  • Make young people more aware of their behaviours when it comes to personal finance and help them identify goals and strategies for achieving financial well-being
  • Provide participants with personalized feedback based on their survey answers to 1) educate them about their personal financial profile and the nature and impact of their financial choices and decisions, 2) show them the “financial path” they have taken thus far, and 3) help them think about how to achieve their personal financial goals

Who is the project for?

Young Quebecers aged 15 to 19

Participants may be able to take part in the project at their school, as numerous district school boards and schools have accepted to collaborate. Participating schools will then give students the opportunity to take the survey in class (as part of a financial education, economics or math course, for example). Each participating school is free to determine the best way to allow students to participate in class. Students remain free to decide whether or not they wish to take part and will not be required to give a reason if they refuse.

Whether they are students or not, young people aged 15 to 19 can also participate in the project by directly accessing the online questionnaire.

Benefits of participating

  • Participating in this research project gives you an opportunity to reflect on your financial knowledge and behaviour. It can help you better plan your financial future with personalized information about your profile, your level of knowledge, and your financial goals
  • As you complete the questionnaire, there will be video clips and a glossary of terms to help you learn more about personal finance
  • After completing the questionnaire, you will immediately receive online feedback that can be printed or saved. If you participate in the longitudinal study (other surveys in the future), you will get additional benefits, including access to relevant additional content for your age group and continuous feedback to help you achieve your financial goals

Research questionnaire

The research questionnaire is available online only.

The survey includes a glossary you can consult if needed plus short video clips on the main principles of personal finance. There are 109 questions on the following topics:

  • You, your studies, your background, and your current and future financial situation
  • Your knowledge of personal finance
  • Your response to scenarios (hypothetical situations)

How it worked in 2022

The survey will take place throughout November 2022 to mark Financial Literacy Month. You have until December 15, 2022 to participate (deadline extended).

No preparation is required to participate in the study on the part of young people (nor from teachers if in class). Using a computer, tablet, or cell phone, participants will need one hour to complete all and all (read instructions, give consent, answer the questions, view the video clips and read feedback).

You can choose to complete the survey all at once, or you can take breaks along the way—your answers will be saved automatically as you go. If you don’t make it all the way through your questionnaire, just click on “Save and come back later” at the bottom of the questionnaire. You will automatically receive a validation code you can use to pick up where you left off, without losing your answers. You can also provide an email address and receive the questionnaire link so you can easily finish completing the questionnaire later. Your email address will not be saved by the online app and will only be used to redirect you to the online questionnaire.

Plus, if you exit the survey without finishing, you will receive automatic reminders every week in November 2022, up to a maximum of 4, so long as you provided an email address for this purpose at the end of this form.

It is important to complete the online questionnaire no later that December 15, 2022 (new project deadline) at 11:59 p.m. After that, the questionnaire will no longer be available and anyone who has not fully completed the questionnaire will be excluded from participating.

Security and confidentiality

Researchers have taken multiple measures to ensure participants’ data security and confidentiality.

First, all project data will be entered and securely stored in an exclusive project database on Université Laval’s highly secure servers. The database will be used to collect and store your data and that of the other participants. Whether you agree to take part in the study on a one-time basis or multiple times over the years, your data will be entered and securely stored in the database and will only be accessible to a very limited number of project researchers.

Please see database detailed information:  Project Database

If you agree to participate in the survey a single time without reminders, you will not need to provide an email address. Your participation will remain strictly anonymous. No one will ever be able to identify you.

If you agree to participate in the longitudinal study (other surveys in the future), you will need to provide an email address so we can contact you in future. In this case, your data will be reversibly depersonalized (email replaced with a code), then entered into the database along with the data from all the other participants. That means it will be possible to retrieve your identify (with the code) to forward invitations to you when new surveys come out and to add your new answers to those already in the database.

Email addresses collected with REDCap (that is the online survey tool used for this project) will be kept in a separate file from your other data so that you cannot be personally identified when the data is studied.

A participant’s specific personal answers will never be shared alone. They will be combined with other participants’ answers in aggregate during data analysis. This aggregated data may be presented in the researchers’ scientific papers.

Consent to participate

The project consent form provides full details and conditions for participating in the project and the project database.

You must read the form and give your consent before accessing the questionnaire. You will be able to access the questionnaire as of November 1 by clicking on the “I WANT TO TAKE PART IN THE PROJECT” button on the project home page.

Voluntary Participation

All young Quebecers aged 15 to 19 are invited to take part in the study.

You are free to decide whether or not you wish to take part in the study. If you choose to participate, you can opt out at any time for any reason, and without any justification or consequence.

The quality of the study’s findings and the personalized feedback you receive at the end of the survey depend on your full and honest participation. It is essential to answer all survey questions no later than November 30, 2024 at 11:59 p.m., falling which your participation will be canceled and you will not be eligible for the draw.

Potential benefits, risks, and drawbacks of participating

Participating in this research project gives you an opportunity to reflect on your own financial knowledge and behaviour. It can help you better plan your financial future with personalized information about your profile, your level of knowledge, and your financial goals. After completing the questionnaire, you will immediately receive online feedback that you can print or save. As you complete the questionnaire, there will be video clips and a glossary of terms to help you learn more about personal finance. 

There is a slight chance that, based on your answers, we will not be able to clearly identify your financial profile. There is also a slight risk that the profile we assign and the feedback we provide do not match what you perceive about yourself. We are taking a conservative approach, meaning we prefer not to assign profiles or feedback in cases where the answers are not consistent.

Participation prize draw

As a token of our thanks, you can choose to enter a draw for one of 50 $100 prepaid card prizes.

This $100 prepaid card is a gift card whose balance is reduced each time it is used until it drops to zero.

On January 31, 2025, at 2:00 p.m., a draw will be held among all participants who provided their email addresses or phone number and completed the survey in full. See rules for the draw here.

Ethics Review

Money Matters: Take Charge! has been approved by Université Laval’s ethics committee, CÉRUL (Comité d’éthique à la recherche de l’Université Laval) for 2023 under approval number 2021-380 R-2 / 05-01-2024. The project database management framework carries approval number 2021-481 CG R-2 / 09-01-2024.

All surveys conducted under this project will be submitted to CÉRUL for prior approval.