Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sending Youth the Right Money Message:

Money doesn't grow on trees. Okay, you know this – but do your kids? Teaching children the value of a dollar is vital to ensuring they know how to survive in a world full of financial hazards. There are many ways to instill healthy habits, but the most important method is to teach by example. If your children see you using credit cards to pay for what you can’t afford, it won’t be long before they believe that depending on loans is the only way to make ends meet. As a parent, coming to grips with your own financial mishaps will not only benefit you, but will have a tremendous and lasting impact on those who are watching you. And they are watching.

Teach early
How young is too young to learn about money? This question has been much debated, but even toddlers can and should be introduced to certain rudimentary ideas. Rather than giving formal lessons (that are sure to confound and bore a three-year-old), make your outings together fun learning opportunities.

Teach good shopping habits
When shopping, teach your children to be selective consumers. Discuss price versus product. For example, when you are at the supermarket, pick up a couple of boxes of cereal and say, “this one costs $2.50, and this $4.50. Which should I buy?” At the checkout counter, hand your child the bills and allow him to pay for what you’ve chosen together. That action will help him understand that things don’t magically appear, but are bought.

Teach the work-income connection
Before heading off to work, take a moment to explain that you are going not just because you like your job (associating work with enjoyment and fulfillment is also an important lesson), but to earn an income so you can pay for the things you need to buy for the household. Keep it simple, light, and positive.

Bump-up the lessons
As your child gets older, keep the lessons up but increase their complexity. Read the business section of the newspaper together and discuss the basics of economics. If you are fuzzy on the details of how the stock market works or the impact of taxes in our lives, make a commitment to learn more – and to share that knowledge with your child.

Allow them the opportunity to make mistakes and have successes
Giving money to children is a very hot topic, and there are a great many philosophies about how and when to do it. Each family has their own way, and what works for you and your kids may not for the family down the block. However, learning how to handle money is best done with cash in hand.

Emphasize Saving
Many children are natural savers; stockpiling coins like squirrels hoard nuts. Others have to be taught to sock money away. But whether saving is innate or learned, it should always be encouraged and praised. Once again, the best way to teach is to lead by example. Talk about saving – what you do, how you do it, what you are saving for. Your excitement and commitment will be transferred to your child!

Surf's up! April is National Credit Union Youth Week!  Join in the celebration by encouraging youth to set up savings accounts and learn how to manage money.  On Thursday, April 24th, Pen Air FCU will host Penny Savers Club (ages 0-11) and My2Cents Club (ages 12-17) Catch the $ave Wave” Youth Week events. Come “hang ten” on the $ave Wave and learn more about the importance of healthy savings habits with your credit union. 

RSVP below, or call Melissa at (850) 502-3200, ext. 7773. Visit for more information. 
Penny Savers “Catch the $ave Wave” Party
Pen Air FCU Corporate Branch | 1495 E. Nine Mile Rd. | Pensacola, FL
Thursday, April 24th from 3 – 4 p.m.

My2Cents “Catch the $ave Wave” Party
Pen Air FCU Corporate Branch | 1495 E. Nine Mile Rd. | Pensacola, FL
Thursday, April 24th from 3 – 4 p.m.

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