Keeping Your Kids on the Right Track to Financial Independence?
Home is the best place for children and young adults to learn to manage money. After all, you can teach financial principles based on family values. However, study after study confirms that most kids and teens aren’t learning the basics. But, working together with your children, and with the help of some kid-friendly financial tools, you can create a generation of fiscally fit kids.
One of the most important steps to building financially responsible kids is to start young. Regardless of how your children earn money (receiving an allowance, doing specific chores, working a part-time job), you can use this foundation to reinforce a healthy mindset about money. Helping them develop strong financial habits (like budgeting) and providing practical tools (like youth banking accounts that you can use together) will teach them how to effectively save, spend and give what they have earned.
Here are some easy ways to get started:
Introduce them to basic banking. When it comes to saving, it’s much more fun for a child to interact with their money than to see it disappear into a piggy bank or some mysterious vault. Start Young Saving and Spending Accounts give kids (aged 0-17) the hands-on features and functions of digital banking, but with safeguards, limits, and options and that you control. It’s never too early to understand money, so Start Young Accounts from Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) are specifically designed help you and your children responsible ways to spend, save, manage bank accounts, track transactions online and achieve long-term goals.
Consider matching their savings. Do you want to help your children save for college or another long-term goal? Some financial experts say you can encourage kids to save – while teaching the principles of more sophisticated investments, such as individual retirement accounts – by offering matching funds. For example, you could tell your children that for every $1 they set aside for long-term goals, you’ll match it in their Start Young Saving Account. And you can monitor the account progress together online so they can see their money grow.
Make budgeting a family activity. Include your children in household money discussions. Show them how you budget income and expenses. As their skills improve, give them challenges —finding a better mobile phone plan, calculating the total monthly cost of owning a car, or sticking to a budget for back-to-school or holiday spending. You can even help them set up their own budget online with financial management tools included free with Start Young Saving and Spending Accounts.
Be their coach. Remind your children to ask for help when they need it – and turn to your credit union when you want help. The tradition of service and philosophy of self-help make ECCU and all credit unions a natural partner in pursuing financial security.