Finances are not usually considered a laughing matter, but a program about handling money, currently touring in schools, may get students laughing all the way to the bank.
Sponsored by the Investor Education Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, Funny Money is a presentation delivered by a professional stand-up comic, explained Tracey MacDonald, mathematics teacher at Holy Trinity.
The Investor Education Fund, she explains, is a non-profit organization which works to develop, support and deliver educational programs and resources to help people better manage their personal finances.
“Funny Money, travels to high schools and delivers a presentation to graduating students, on how to handle money,” she said. MacDonald had heard about the program a number of years ago at a conference and put her school on the waiting list for the well sought-after program. “Students are heading off to post-secondary and they will all of a sudden have responsibilities such as paying rent and utilities. It’s important for them to understand that money is finite and that you need to handle your money and not let your money handle you.”
Comedian Denis Grignon, who is incidentally, originally from Cornwall, came back home, to perform the program, which he has been touring across the country.
The show, said Grignon, is the brainchild of another comedian, Dennis Cunningham, whose degree in finance and theatre arts were a perfect combination to create such a program.
“He saw that there was this need, and that students really have no clue when it comes to finances.”
Grignon said that the idea was to create a show that would be fun and interactive and also allow students a chance to win some money.
The main base concepts, explained Grignon include “knowing your flow, understanding where your money goes, where it came from and the importance of a budget, controlling what you owe, and investing your money.”
“They are young; time is on their side.”
The 45 minute presentation will not change their lives, he explained. “It’s not a get rich scheme.”
Grignon says that the program hopes to start a conversation between students, teachers and parents about finances.
“If they have more questions at the end than they did at the beginning, that’s a success. You know they are thinking about it. That’s really our success, right there.”