Tips to Teach Youth About Personal Finances

Mother’s Day is a great time to celebrate the wonderful mothers, grandmothers, and guardians in our lives. Parents and caretakers have a huge influence on a child’s life. According to a survey by the National Financial Educators Council, more than half of respondents indicated that neither of their parents taught them about personal finance. It’s important for caretakers to introduce a strong financial foundation to children to prepare them for later in life. Catherine Comerford, Assistant Vice President and Financial Wellness Coach at Workers Credit Union, has tips to teach your little ones about finances and money management. As a mother, she understands the challenge of teaching youth about the value of money.

Start Early

Money management is all about counting. Once a child is old enough to learn to count, that is a good time to start teaching them about finances. The earlier you start teaching youth to understand finances, the easier it will be for them to take those lessons into adulthood. Youth should learn smart personal money management strategies from a young age because it will allow them to create good habits that will be beneficial later in life. The older you get, the more difficult it can be to correct poor habits.

Keep It Simple

Especially for younger children, it’s best to use simple strategies. Start with something like a piggybank, where every time they do a certain positive action, you give them a quarter to put away. Comerford uses this method with her own kids. Anytime they want something that costs money, they take it from their own piggybank. While a full understanding of finances might not be there for those younger children, it will help to build them up toward smart money management.

Consider Age

Tailor your approach to the topic of finances differently based on your child’s age. For younger children, it’s best to keep it simple and focus on counting. If the child is in elementary school, teach them about withdrawals and spending. Once they spend the money from their piggybank, it means the money is no longer there. They then can earn money by doing more chores, reading books or helping neighbors. Later in middle and high school, start educating your child on goal setting if they want larger items, like a PlayStation or a bike. Oftentimes, children get their first jobs in high school and start depositing checks into a bank account. They can start saving for those items, set a timeframe for purchases, and look for deals. This teaches them that your savings account should have a purpose, and it should be in line with whatever your goals are.

Educating your kids about personal finances early will set them up for success in the long run. Workers Credit Union certified financial wellness coaches work with a wide range of members, including youth 17 and under with a parent or guardian.




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