We all know how difficult it is to save for the future. With rising prices of everything from food to fuel, it’s a challenge for some of us to stash into our savings account even $10 a month.
We all know it won’t be any easier for future generations, especially if they don’t learn to value of saving money at an early age.
The kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Lake and Sumter Counties (Fla.) received some valuable training in that area the week of July 11-15 when Kathy Scherer, manager of the Centennial Bank in Clermont, conduced financial training class, “Money Matters.”
Scherer covered everything from earning and spending to budgeting and saving toward college. Classes, highlighted by interactive games and role playing, were held daily for kids ages 5-14. There was even a field trip to Centennial Bank, where the children got a tour of the vaults and were entertained by “Penny,” the Centennial mascot.
Here are a few tips to help your children better prepare for their financial future:
- Let them watch you balance your checkbook. Explain to them how and why you do it. Not only is this good for money management skills, but it’s also a great way to strengthen math skills.
- Don’t hide your finances from them! Have family meetings talk about family finances, like the cost of the monthly mortgage payment, car payment and bills.
- Take one of your paycheck stubs and help them understand how taxes, insurances and your 401k contributions are deducted and how you will use the rest of the paycheck to pay for household expenses and contribute to your own savings account.
- While your own costs and earnings are private from your family and friends, your children will one day have the same pressures to pay bills and increase their earnings. Don’t be bashful!
- When eating out, help them compare menu items and prices to help them save (like ordering water instead of a soda). At the end of the meal, show them the bill and explain tips and taxes.
- Around age 12, help them set some financial goals. If they have a big-ticket item in mind, like a car at age 16, help them line out a budget and savings method to help them reach that goal down the road.
- Finally, take them to your local Centennial Bank branch and open a kids savings account in their name. It’s never too early to start saving!