Much of what we do as a parent is about helping our kids grow up to be healthy adults.
In the same way that we encourage them to eat their vegetables, do their homework and get enough sleep, we also want to encourage kids to be healthy financially.
Krystalina Brown withMountain America Credit Union (MACU) joined us with some habits we can instill in our kids to build them up for financial success.
She says start with the basics. Spending and saving. Help kids learn the value of a dollar. Use shopping to open up healthy discussions. Start by encouraging them to look at prices on toys or food items at the store. Show them how similar items often cost different amounts. Talk through strategies to buy things for less by waiting until the item is on sale or by using a coupon.
Krystalina says money management for kids means explaining the difference between buying something small now or saving up to buy something more expensive later. This basic lesson in delayed gratification will serve your kids well throughout their lives. Open a savings or youth certificate account to get them in the practice of saving. Encourage your children to deposit a portion of their allowance in there.
Once your child better understands what things cost and why they should save, it's a good idea to help them create a long-term plan. Ask them about how they would like to use their money in the next week, month and year. Brainstorm ways they could earn this money through an allowance, birthday funds or job opportunities. This will help them build healthy money scripts.
Krystalina explained that money scripts are our own beliefs about money. They generally typically develop long before we start to make decisions about how we use our money each day. Money scripts tend to be influenced by our parent's money scripts as well as our own experiences. For instance, if you grew up in a household that treated money and finances as something people don't talk about, you might grow up thinking the same thing, and have trouble budgeting with a spouse or partner.
It's important to understand that what worked for parents may or may not work for their kids. Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to finances. Understanding your own money scripts will help us identify knowledge gaps and make it easier to teach kids about money and have a different perception on money scripts.
Mountain America is excited to partner with the Utah Hogle Zoo to bring you zoo visits. They're bringing the zoo accompanied by their Financial Education team and financial education for kids to select branches starting June 1st! There will be fun financial education activities for kids completely free to members and the community. Bring the kids to pet the small zoo animals and learn about financial education!
You can get more information at macu.com or by calling 1-800-748-4302.