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Help your Child Build Good Financial Habits

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Published on April 06, 2022

April is National Credit Union Youth Month. That means we’ll focus on our young savers and spenders. In today’s economy, kids can easily get confused as swipes, clicks, and scans have taken the place of actual money changing hands. With so many transactions turning to digital, the reality is that teaching kids good financial habits is an important and valuable life skill.

While there’s really no “perfect” age to start teaching kids about financial responsibilities, there’s no denying that they are watching and learning from you. So, it’s important to set a good example and include them in conversations about budgets and goals. If they see you only spending and not saving, they might imitate that behavior when it comes time to make their own decisions. Even if it’s only a little bit, make sure they know that you are putting aside money for a rainy day.

Here are some tips to building good financial habits:

A little bit of knowledge as they grow
Young children might not understand the value of money, but early on they should get the idea that it is exchanged for products and services. Here are a few ideas to introduce the concept of money: 

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  • When they start counting, add coins and bills to the list of objects so they recognize the differences in them.

  • Let young children watch you pay for your groceries and then talk about why how you paid.

  • Reinforce the idea of the cost of things, like stopping for ice cream.

  • Try quizzing them about the cost of regular household items, like the gallon of milk in the refrigerator.

As they get a bit older, let them do some chores and earn an allowance. It will help them understand the concept of working. Soon, it will be time for their first real job and earning a paycheck. Learning good habits, like saving, budgeting, and wants vs. needs, will help prepare them when it’s time to apply for their own credit cards and car loans.

It can be confusing
It’s important that kids learn early on that when you swipe your card at a store or use your mobile wallet, the end result is that money is leaving your account. Your little ones don’t see any actual money changing hands, so show them the transaction on your monthly statement or in e-Banking so they truly understand.

How we’re celebrating!
Build-a-bank contest. We are encouraging our youth members to "Build toward your future." Our Build-a-Bank contest challenges youth members to create their own functional bank using LEGO or other interlocking bricks. The bank can be any size; it just needs to have a place where they can put money in and a way to remove it. This is a great time to talk about the importance of having a savings account and withdrawing money from that account when you need it.

When the bank is complete, snap a photo and submit it for consideration. Entries are due by Friday, April 29. Four lucky winners will receive a family 4-pack of passes to the LEGO Discovery Center at Great Lakes Crossing. Members can access the link to the submission form here.

Calling all Captain Choice Savers!
Captain’s Log exchange. If your child has an old Community Choice Captain’s Log, bring it into a member center and exchange it for a new one. We’ll transfer their stamps into their new savings book, plus give two bonus stamps just for exchanging it! As an extra “thank you,” they will also receive a custom brick set!

We offer youth accounts
Our Captain Choice account is the perfect account for children ages 0-12. With just a $5 deposit, this account is a great way to start a saving foundation  ̶ especially since it pays 1.00% APY on the first $500 on deposit.

When a child turns 13, they’ll automatically be upgraded to our MYChoice account. This account will also pay 1.00% APY on the first $500 on deposit. Once the child turns 15, they’re eligible to receive a Debit Mastercard and checking account.

Learn more about our youth accounts, click here.




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