What Financial Lesson’s Have You Taught Your Kid’s?Every fall a new school year begins, and with it comes time to fill shopping carts with No. 2 pencils, protractors and all the goodies the kids will lose by the second day of school. If they’re headed off to college, it can be even more exciting. But, instead of needing you to replace their pens on day two, your college-aged child will probably be calling to ask for money by then.
It’s such a ritual that, at this point, many of us don’t really question it. But how much do our kids actually know about money? You might want to only include the lessons you taught them, because their school probably didn’t teach them much at all.
Common core and other national guidelines don’t include many requirements for teaching budgeting skills, how to balance a checkbook, or even explanations of basic concepts such as credit, loans or mortgages. Basically, each child will need to learn the basics of finance from their parents. And don’t wait till your child is headed off to college…teach as they grow, starting when they are young. To get them started, make sure they have a Dollar Dog Kids Club Account or an iSAVE Teen Account from Box Elder Credit Union. Or, any type of kids account will do!
We talked to some credit union members about the lessons they want to pass on to their kids, and below you’ll find some of our favorite lessons to teach your kids.
PAY YOURSELF FIRST
No one else is going to make you a financial priority, so don’t make them your financial priority. Paying yourself first is a habit you want to have! Most people wait and only save what’s left over…that’s paying yourself last. And let’s face it, often there isn’t anything left over, so pay yourself first and you will be on the right track!
If you want to know if you can afford something, check your budget. If you have to check your checking account, you can’t afford it. If you reconcile your accounts every month, you’ll have a pretty good idea how much is actually in each account. But having enough money isn’t the same thing as having enough money. Plan ahead. Make a budget. Execute the plan by sticking to that budget.
TAKE RISKS WHILE YOU ARE YOUNG
Take risks while you’re young. You can afford to be more aggressive with your retirement and college funds while you have plenty of time to make it back up, so don’t be afraid to push those funds a little bit. That said, not saving for retirement is not a risk. It’s just a bad idea.
KEEP THINGS BALANCED
It’s healthy to teach your children not only to save but also to budget and spend. It’s not realistic to only focus on saving because in the real world there is so much more. So, keep things balanced when you are teaching them about money, and it doesn’t hurt to make learning fun!
Whether your kids are in diapers or their kids are wearing them, it’s never too early or too late to teach financial literacy. Make sure you’re instilling the right lessons, and check back in with Box Elder Credit Union because we’ve always got plenty of resources for young people to learn the lessons they aren’t getting in math class.
YOUTH & TEEN SAVINGS ACCOUNTS