Wanna know why credit unions give out prizes and candy to children when they make a deposit? Have coloring contests for kids? Send kids birthday cards in the mail?
A customer sees it as the credit union just being nice, but if it were just that, they’d do that for everyone, right? Adults, included. Nah, there’s actually a good reason they do this.
They want to become your child’s favorite place for money.
Think I’m making all this up? I worked in banking for a decade! It’s absolutely true!!!
So, why should this matter?
They know that loyalty with kids is extremely harder to break as the years go on. A local mom/pop credit union where the parents bank with them, the children once they turn of age, almost always bank with that same credit union. It is very, very common.
So, why should you care that the bank cares so much about your child’s money?
Well, if THEY care so much about it, don’t you think it’s a good idea you do too?
Credit unions aren’t going to hurt your children and their money, but there ARE PLENTY of OTHERS WHO WILL!!!
Teaching your kids about money is EXTREMELY important. So often, I meet people who are just in financial ruins, and you want to know the one thing they tell me.
“I was never taught how to manage my finances.” They contribute that as the #1 reason why they are failing in their own finances; they simply weren’t taught.
Don’t let your kids become a statistic! Invest in them now, learn how to teach your child financial responsibility while they are still young.
Teach your kids about money…
1) Be a good role model.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Monkey see, monkey do?” Our words are important, but far more than that are our actions. Actions speak louder than words. Be a great role model in YOUR finances.
My daughter is constantly asking me about money. She wants to be able to stay home with her kids in the future. Do you know that already (she’s 8) and she wants to make her own blog or run her own business. People think that’s silly, but is it?
Origami Owl is a HUGE well-known company and who started it? A 14-year old girl named Bella! Our children are FAR more capable than we give them credit.
2) Talk to them about saving, credit cards, money, etc.
Seems pretty simple, huh? Just open up the discussion. Ask them if they have any questions. Teach your child to save money. Tell them how important it is not to get into debt. Show them the difference between a debit card and a credit card. Give them examples of people who have gotten into debt too much and of people who live their lives debt-free. Whatever their age level is, explain to that fullest capacity.
3) Give them opportunity to save, earn, and spend money.
I don’t know about you, but I do NOT learn by someone telling me what to do. lol. My mom probably wishes I did! Rather, I learn by DOING. You can give your children allowance. Make them earn that allowance. Even if you don’t do allowance, they can still earn money with you or a neighbor.
At one of our old churches, every year to earn money for the youth group, we did something called “Slave for a Day.” Basically, the youth would be put on auction and the people in the congregation bid on them. It was a great way for the elderly to get things done that they couldn’t do, and a great way for the teens to make money. Even money the child gets on the birthday. I mean, there are SO many opportunities to ask them what THEY want to do with it. Reward for good decisions, and talk to them if they are unwise. HELP them understand WHY you’re teaching them this; WHY this is so important.
Part of my kids allowance is saved for church tithes, no exceptions. This is what I do with my money, so this is a family rule, and what they do with theirs as well. Part of it also goes to savings, no exceptions. One day, they will want a car, help pay for college, etc.
How nice will that money be for them to have at that time?!
While these are mandatory things for allowance, all other monies earned are at their discretion. I guide them, lead them, and encourage them to make wise decisions, and yes, even some for things they just plain want. There’s a balance. 🙂
4) Never assume they will learn this stuff in school.
The days of home economics are long gone. Now, instead of preparing a woman to stay home with her kids, high schools have day care centers, proving that more and more kids are having kids. Lifestyles are just different these days, and much worse off overall. Kids aren’t taught about being a godly wife, kids are taught, even in kindergarten about guns, smoking, drugs, and sex. It’s a totally different era. The priorities have vastly changed.
Not only can we not expect the teachers to teach things such as money, we cannot expect them to teach our children about God. Freedom of religion is also gone in schools, and if you don’t believe me, remind me to tell you the story about how I was almost suspended for simply wearing a cross necklace to school because it ‘offended’ someone!
There are some things we must teach our children ourselves!
We cannot become complacent. That bundle of joy you once wrapped in your arms will test every nerve in your body before they reach 18. Teach them everything you can while they are young enough to actually care what you’re saying!
5) Tell them everything costs money.
Learn how to teach your child the value of money. Over the years, I have told my kids that everything costs money. “Let’s turn out the lights guys, they cost money to keep them on.” If we’re in the store and they want something, I politely ask them if they have the money to pay for it…So, the kids know that our home costs money, lights, electricity, etc. But today, my 8 year old was flabbergasted to find out that internet and TV costs money. “They just make us pay for everything,” she said to me.
I’m hoping that by showing her that everything DOES really eat away at our income, that she will be more diligent in conserving where she can. So far, it is working great. Now, keep in mind, we don’t need to go overboard and turn off our heat completely in the winter or anything, but just knowing that things DO cost money, gives such an appreciation for all that we do as parents for our children. We are all a family, we all need to work together. Many hands make for light work. 🙂
6) Shop together.
Going back to being an example, there was a time when we were in the store and I really, REALLY wanted something. I knew it was a luxury item. I didn’t NEED it. It was not useful, meaning, I probably wouldn’t use it for very long. And it was quite expensive, $20 for something like that. It was super hard for me to walk away. But, I think that, it shows the kids that I go through the same thing as they do.
I want things just like them, and that God is so incredibly good to us. We can truly be appreciative for what we have, and not focus on what we don’t. Sure, I’d love a brand new 2014 car, who wouldn’t, but it’s not for me to have. Such is the same with our kids. That shiny new toy they want today, if not taught the proper attitude on our ‘stuff,’ will just be thrown to the bottom of the toy bin by next week.
7) Teach them now to donate.
Living in the homeless shelter 4 years ago, I saw TRUE needs at the deepest core. Women who didn’t have money for a bar of soap. Things that we take for granted every single day. There are people on the street right now, who would think that no matter WHERE you live, you are RICH! Every time I throw out a stale piece of food, I remember my days in the shelter, where that is exactly ALL we had to eat. That was the only nutrition we got.
I’ve come a long way since then, again God is very gracious, but I don’t forget. I will never forget, and that makes me all the MORE diligent to meet the needs of those around me. Sometimes seemingly meaningless things make the world of difference to someone on the opposite side.
Teaching your little ones now about how much you have and how you can give to those who are in need is, in my opinion, one of the best qualities you can instill in your children. Life is not to be lived for us alone, but for others. Let God’s grace abound in you.
8) Help your little ones establish goals.
I’m fairly used to setting and accomplishing goals for two reasons. One, because of God, and two, because I work extremely hard to make those goals. And so, I set goals for myself in every area of my life, every month. Even if they are simple, they help keep me focused.
I love to pass that onto my children as well. How easy is it to write down a goal on the family calendar of your oldest to have $5 saved up within a month if their allowance is $10/week? Be sure the goals are balanced (easy to attain, but also a challenge). This will give them a huge sense of accomplishment when they achieve their goal.
Do you feel it’s important to teach your kids at an early age about money? What kinds of things have you taught them already? What ideas would you recommend to others?