Teaching Kids About Money
Instilling a habit of saving with kids at a young age can go a long way to a successful financial future. Research says that you can’t start these lessons too soon! According to a University of Cambridge study, a child’s money habits can be set by as early as age 7.
With young children, you can start with very basic concepts. When children are around 3 to 5 years old, just having them count the number of coins and filling a piggy bank is a fun beginning step.
When your child gets to school age, you can introduce an allowance to help your child learn what it takes to earn money. As they get a little older, add the concept of budgeting to illustrate the difference between wants and needs.
Have your child identify some wants. Children's goals vary a lot based on their age and concept of time, but might include toys, sports equipment, electronic devices, special clothes, or other big-ticket items. You could suggest saving for one item at a time and help them figure out how much they'll need to save each week to reach their goal in a realistic amount of time.
For older children, saving for college is important. For others, the goal may be more tangible, like a car. As an incentive to put money into long-term savings, you might consider making a matching contribution for every dollar your child puts in.
By the teenage years, a consistent approach to money management will lay a solid foundation for financial responsibility in adulthood.
In a recent article* published by Investopedia, they offer some basic steps you can take immediately to put them on the right path.
- Having kids earn their allowance through household chores can help them build the self-reliance they’ll need later in life.
- Opening up a savings account or kid-friendly debit card teaches the value of saving and provides an introduction to the banking system.
- Allowing your kids to observe budgeting discussions can help them learn how to spend responsibly and achieve cooperative solutions.
Your Child’s First Savings Account
Once your children have established a good habit of saving, you can introduce them to the concept of a savings account. When the jar gets filled, help deposit the money into a credit union savings account in their name. It keeps the money safely tucked way. And, it's fun to visit the credit union with new deposits and watch the balance grow.
Starting early and helping your children learn good money habits is an invaluable life lesson.
Check out additional resources at MyMoney.gov to find games, fun activities, websites, video games, and information about money for kids and youth.
Special Incentive to Help Our Young Members Save
Throughout the month of April, Pyramid will match the opening deposit up to $10 for all new youth accounts (ages 0-17) opened during Youth Savings Month 2021.
Remember, Pyramid FCU is here as your ally to help empower our youth to develop healthy money habits for a lifetime. Start now. Stop by or give us a call at (520) 795-7950 to open your child’s youth account today.
*Everyday Activities That Can Teach Financial Literacy to Kids, by Daniel Kurt for Investopedia, Updated April 1, 2021.