April is National Credit Union Youth Month! It is a month dedicated to helping kids learn the importance of saving money. We can all agree that healthy saving habits are the backbone of better financial futures. Whether children get money for allowance, birthdays, or graduation, their first instinct is normally to spend it. But what if instead of spending their money on small things, we encourage them to save for something bigger? Teaching them to save their money for the future is the first step. Over time, that little bit of money saved can be much bigger! Every little bit counts.
Once they’ve started saving money, teach them about how it can compound. For example, say your child decides to deposit $5.00 of their allowance every month into their own savings account. After 12 months, they’ll not only have the $60 they deposited, they’ll earn interest too! It pays to save money! And it’s never too early to start saving. These skills can lead to more responsible and money smart teenagers and young adults who are prepared when they get their first paycheck or first bill for car repairs.
We have a list to help your child learn more about saving from who they know best, their parents!
- Make the most of “teachable moments” — Look for opportunities in your day-to-day interactions with your teen when you can slip in a money “lesson.” For instance, if you’re out shopping together, you can talk about your own shopping choices or why you’re delaying a purchase.
- Provide hands-on experience — These types of experiences have more impact for teens than just listening to you talk. For instance, have your teenager make the grocery list for the week. At the market, they’ll see for themselves how big a chunk of the family budget goes toward groceries.
- Model money monitoring — Sit down with your teen to go over their list of expenses for the week. Discuss the following: Were these wants (things that just made you feel good) or needs (things like a new jacket to replace the one that no longer fits)? How could you have spent your money differently?
- Introduce plastic, perhaps — You’ll need to decide if your teen is mature enough to manage a debit card. You could give your teen a PSCU debit card so they can only use what they have in their account. Again, go over transactions together.
- Talk about the future — What will come after high school? If it’s college, what portion of expenses will the teen have to cover? Older teens also begin to think about career choices. This is a good time to talk with them about saving for retirement. It’s never too early to have that conversation.
Celebrate your child’s future by opening an account at PSCU! During Youth Month, PSCU will match their opening deposit up to $25. Also, all youth who make a deposit into their account in April will be part of the National Youth Savings Challenge and will be entered for a chance to win $100! Learn More. Saving as much as they can is what Youth Month is all about.