Are your kids ready to talk about money?
If kids are old enough to ask for a toy or a bike, they are old enough to start learning financial lessons that will last their lifetime.
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Many financial lessons can be a part of your everyday experiences. Look for opportunities to talk about money, read books aloud and play games that center around spending money wisely. Be open and honest when you discuss your financial experiences, both good and bad.
Here are some everyday lessons that may help the conversation get started!
At the Credit Union
When you come to the Credit Union, bring your kids with you and show them how transactions work. Ask our Member Service Representatives or our Managers to explain how the bank operates, how money generates interest and how an ATM works.
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At the market
It can be easier to give examples of “wants” and “needs” while at the grocery store. Milk (for strong bones) is a need and soft drinks can be a want. Explain the benefits of comparison shopping, coupons and store brands.
Chores and allowances
Chores and allowances gives your kids a chance to earn their money! Assign chores and give them a monetary value. Discuss ways to budget and divide allowances. Encourage children to set a financial goal, such as saving for a bike, and figure out how to achieve it. This is a good time to also work on building their own budget. Discuss how spending now will mean it will take more time to reach a long-term goal. Getting this perspective can help them decide whether the short- or long-term goal is more important to them. Encouraging them to set aside for giving/donating can be very beneficial in the long run as well. Talk to them about what is meaningful to them, like animals, the environment or some other cause, and about how much of their own money they would like to commit to it. These conversations and experiences will give them a first-hand understanding of how money works and instill good money habits that can last a lifetime.
On payday it can be a good day to discuss budget! This can include paying for housing, food, clothing. And how a portion is saved for future expenses such as college tuition and retirement. Talking about how you maybe pay yourself with those savings can be a good topic! If you need help understanding budget we have resources to help!
Explain the many ways that bills can be paid: over the phone, paper or by check, electronic check or online check draft. Discuss how each method of bill pay takes money out of your account. Emphasizing the importance of paying bills on time can be beneficial to your budget as well.
Using credit cards
Explain that credit cards are a loan and need to be repaid. Share how each month a credit card statement comes in the mail with a bill. Go over the features of different types of cards, such as ATM, debit and credit cards.
Always encourage your children to ask questions about money. If you don’t know the answer, research it together or ask your Credit Union for more information!
Do you have suggestions on how to talk to your kids about finances? Let us know!
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