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How to Prepare Kids for a Better Financial Future

April 28, 2021 by Space Coast Credit Union



April is National Credit Union Youth Month, encouraging kids to develop healthy saving habits.  Teaching kids financial skills early in life will help them develop  healthy money habits later in life, resulting in financial freedom. Studies have shown, that the more financially literate a person is the better prepared they are to overcome unexpected financial crisis, such as difficulties caused by the financial crisis of 2008 or COVID-19.
 
Economist and former chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States, Alan Greenspan, stated, “Financial education is a process that should begin at an early age and continue throughout life. This cumulative process builds the skills necessary for making critical financial decisions that affect one’s ability to attain the assets … and improve economic well-being.”
 
So, how can parents and grandparents, help prepare today’s youth for a better financial future?  First, be a financial role model, setting the example with good financial habits. SCCU.com has articles and resources to help you become financially savvy.  Second, talk openly about money and basic finances with your kids at an age appropriate level.  The big three basics to cover include saving, budgeting and setting goals.
 
Following are some ideas to get started depending upon the age of your child:
 
  • Give your child an allowance to help teach the value of money and hard work.
  • Have your child divide up his or her money:
    • Have them pay themselves by putting a set amount into savings. 
    • Have them donate a portion to a charity
    • Allow them to spend the rest
  • Create a savings goal together and break it down into manageable bites. Help them figure out how long it will take to reach their goal.
  • Establish a place for kids to keep their savings. Young children may keep a piggy bank, but consider opening a savings account at SCCU, where they can monitor their money.
  • Distinguish between wants and needs. Needs include the basics, such as food, shelter, and basic clothing. Wants are all the extras—from movie tickets and candy to a bicycle or the latest smartphone.

For more information and ideas, MyMoney.gov has a resource page for kids and youth with fun activities, video games, and links to other websites that can help kids learn how to save money, how to be a smart consumer, and how to create a budget to meet their financial goals.
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