by Tiffany Waersch
There are many life lessons that parents give top billing to when raising kids.
“Don’t hit your brother.”
“Wash your hands before dinner.”
“If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”
With so many lessons to teach and so little time before your bundle of joy is grown and out on their own, teaching them how to budget, bank, and accumulate wealth often takes a backseat. Besides a lack of time, many of us have a lack of knowledge when it comes to finances. Just take a look at the increasing amount of credit card debt we keep piling on ourselves.
Now is the best time to focus on helping your kids make smart money choices. Not only for their prosperous future, but honestly, for ours as well. After all, as we age, our kids will one day be in charge of our wealth and financial stability too. So what can you do now to help your child become a #FinancialRockstar?
- Open a Savings Account with your child. Saving money in a piggy bank is fine, but earning money on your savings is even better. Share with your little one how much in dividends they earn when they use their Savings Account by going over their monthly or quarterly statement with them.
- Find an institution that rewards your child for saving. Be sure your bank or credit union offers a program to incent your child to save more. We recently introduced our new Youth Reward$ Program that gives kids “virtual coins” for financial transactions, financial education activities, and other activities that promote good citizenship within our community which they can redeem for #CUSwag, gift cards and museum tickets. Youth programs come in all shapes and sizes, so pick one that works with your family’s financial goals.
- Encourage online games that teach kids about money. Who doesn’t love a good online game? There are many sites out there that offer exciting and interactive games while sneaking in a great financial lesson at the same time. Check out sites like www.themint.org.
Using these tips above can help start a dialogue about money with your kids. But the most important thing you can do is to keep that dialogue going. Discussing finances with kids may seem awkward and even a little uncomfortable at times. However, the more they know, the better off they will be in the future.