April is National Credit Union Youth Month. A 2015 T. Rowe Price survey found that 90% of parents experience some degree of reluctance in talking to their kids about finances. Wow! The most common reasons given were that the parents didn’t want them to worry about financial matters, or they thought kids were too young to understand.
Follow our tips for talking to your children about money and join us in April for a fun savings challenge that will allow your kids to earn prizes by saving! There’s no need to be reluctant.
- Ask questions. If you’re going out to eat, talk about the price difference between the options, and ask them which they would choose. If they select the more expensive, talk through what you might have to give up later in the week. If you’re out shopping, you can apply the same idea by teaching them to look for bargains and compare prices.
- Make them part of your budgeting. Enlist them in your saving goals—no one watches you more closely than your kids, so they’re natural accountability partners! If you’re uncomfortable revealing too much of your financial picture, you can keep the discussions high level, but involving them makes money less abstract.
- Discuss the difference between needs and wants. Use examples that they can understand.
- If your children want a certain toy, let them know that they have to earn it and save up for the item. Give them an allowance of your choice for doing chores and helping you with tasks like cooking. Give them a jar to put their allowance in to see their savings grow. Give them small prizes for saving such as stickers, candy, or whatever motivates them. Another route is to "match" whatever they save.
- Start a 365 days a year savings challenge with your family. Start by putting one penny into a jar on the first day of the year. Then put the amount of pennies for the corresponding number each day so that by the 365th day you put $3.65 in the jar. By the end of the year, you will have $667.95 saved up. Use this money to do something fun together as a family so that they can see the benefits of saving.
- Open a youth savings account at R.I.A. Federal Credit Union. This is the best way to help them learn to save for what they find meaningful in life. A lifetime of good savings habits can start now!
R.I.A. Federal Credit Union can help you teach your children saving habits as part of National Credit Union Youth Month. Starting April 1st, you can stop into any of our branch locations to pick up a savings punch card for your children. Each time they reach a savings milestone listed on the punch card, they earn a prize. Once they’ve reached the savings goal KARs members will be entered to win $100 and myCA$H members will be entered to win an Apple Watch. Learn more by visiting our Youth Month page.