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Dollars and Sense For Kids

April 12, 2019

Young girl making a purchase and learning the importance of moneyMoney experiences to teach your kids

Our friends at Balance Financial Fitness provide some helpful opportunities for teaching your kids financial lessons.

If you’ve been meaning to talk to your kids about money, April is the perfect time to start. In addition to Credit Union Youth Month, April 12th marks National Teach Children to Save Day.

This special day was created by the American Bankers Association to promote financial literacy among children. In the spirit of the occasion, here are three real-world experiences that parents can use to introduce kids to personal finance.


Have Your Children Make Purchases

Buying something is maybe the most direct way to understand how money works. That makes it a great opportunity for your children. Try including them the next time you make a purchase. 

Whether it’s at the supermarket or movie theater, give your kids cash to hand to the cashier, and then have them collect and count the change. (Note: This works best for cash purchases. Using a card may be a little too abstract.)

Lesson: Money is used in exchange for goods and services.


Open a Savings Account With Them

There’s no better way to explain saving money to a child than to open an account in their name for this specific purpose. It might be tempting to save time and do it online, but make it tangible by taking your child to your financial institution in person. Show them the physical building, point out the ATM, and have them meet the people behind the counter. Reinforce the roles that financial institutions play in managing your money. After the account is open, make a plan together for making regular contributions to it. 

Lesson: While piggy banks are cute, savings accounts are the best option for stashing your cash.


Inspire Them to Start a Business

There’s a reason why lemonade stands have stood the test of time. These micro businesses represent many children’s first exposure to earning money. If lemonade’s not their thing, encourage them to offer pet sitting or yard work to your neighbors. 

Lesson: Money is earned through work.

Source: Balance Financial Fitness March 2019


If you’d like help opening a savings account for your kids, just ask.


Learn more about the benefits of savings accounts for kids on our Youth Accounts page.

About Youth Accounts

 

Posted in: children, club, kids, money, saving

Checking and Savings Accounts For Kids

March 25, 2019

Young boy counting the coins he has saved.When is the best time to open one for your child?

How financially savvy are your kids? 

Depending on your answer, our friends at Balance Financial Fitness offer some great advice.

According to a recent survey, only 5% of adults received any kind of financial education in school. It is a scary statistic, and may partially explain consumers’ record-high credit card and student loan debt.

If you want to equip your kids with the tools to be financially secure adults, a good place to start is with a savings and/or checking account. Once they see money going in and coming out, it can drive home a lesson about money management.

Wondering if they can handle the responsibility? 


Savings Accounts

Most kids can typically grasp the concept of a savings account early in their development. Here’s how to know if your children are ready to use one:

  • They’re curious about money - If your child expresses a genuine interest in coins, shopping, or anything related to money, this can be a good segue into a savings lesson: financial institutions allow you to put money aside until you really need it.

  • Their piggy bank is overflowing - If your kids have a lot of change in their piggy bank, watch out. It may disappear before your eyes. Take this opportunity to teach them that if they save some of their money in an account, it can earn interest or dividends over time.

  • They have a savings goal - If your children are saving up for something big, this is the perfect time to introduce a savings account. They can make a deposit into the account so they will not be tempted to spend all of their cash.


Checking Accounts

Checking accounts tend to be better suited to older kids who have had more exposure to money. Here are some signs that your kids could benefit from a checking account:

  • They’re responsible - No matter how responsible you are, it can be tempting to withdraw more cash than you should. You might wait to open an account with your children until they demonstrate responsibility in other areas, such as getting a driver’s license or maintaining a part-time job. 

  • All their cash is stuffed into their wallet - The wallet-as-checking-account is dangerous for several reasons. Not only can cash easily get lost, it’s hard to track your purchases. By contrast, an account statement lets you view all of your spending and withdrawal activity, which can be handy for budgeting and a great teaching tool.


If you’re eager to introduce your children to the world of personal finance, checking and savings accounts are a good place to start. Just watch for the signs, and start when they’re ready.

Source: Balance Financial Fitness March 2019


If you’d like help with savings or checking accounts for your kids, just ask. 


Learn about the different types of Youth Accounts, and their benefits, on our Youth Accounts page.

About Youth Accounts

 

Posted in: account, checking, kids, money, saving

5 Tips To Stay Safe This Halloween

October 11, 2018

For a fun and safe holiday

We all want our children have a fun and safe Halloween. Embrace and teach your kids these 5 basic safety tips, inspired by our friends at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

1. Check Your Route

Plan out your trick-or-treat route in advance. Try to stay in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets. Try adding reflective tape to costumes or candy bags for extra visibility, and make sure your children carry a flashlight or glow stick when traveling during the evening hours.


2. Tell People No

If someone tries to separate them from the group or take them somewhere without your permission, instruct them to tell people “No!” (have them practice!), and do anything in their power to get away. Identify adults who could help in emergency situations.


3. Take a Friend

Instruct your older children to take friends when trick-or-treating.

Be sure they go in groups and stay together while out. Encourage them to stay in familiar neighborhoods and have a charged cellphone in case of an emergency. 

While trick-or-treating with younger children, be sure to walk with them all the way to the door, and do not let children enter a home (even that awesome haunted mansion) unless you are with them. 


4. Make Sure Mom or Dad has Help

Has “Can I bring a friend!?” turned into you on your own with 20 kids? Consider enlisting another trusted adult to help keep an eye on a larger group. 


5. Attend Organized Parties

Consider organizing or attending parties at home, in schools, or in community centers as a good alternative to trick-or-treating.


Live Smarter By Being Vigilant

Find safety in numbers, make sure everyone’s aware of their surroundings, and you’ll all enjoy this Halloween.

Posted in: Halloween, kids, safety, tips, treats

Banzai! Financial Education for Juniors

September 10, 2018

Young kid uses Banzai Financial Education Program

Start Your Child Learning About Money

Play Banzai Junior

Banzai Junior is an interactive money game made especially for kids ages 8-12. Players simulate running a lemonade stand to make money and save for something they want. In this case, it’s a new bike or hoverboard. They practice making basic business decisions, paying expenses, borrowing money, and saving, sometimes without even realizing they’re doing it! To them it’s just a fun game. To you, they’re learning important money life skills. By playing the game and simulating the results of real-world decisions, they learn about how to spend and save properly, and set goals for themselves. 

To get started, you’ll simply need to sign in with an email, and create a unique password. Your child can go through as many times as they like. If they need to stop before they are finished, the program will allow them to jump right back in.

This is a fun way to share financial advice and lessons with your kids, and help them learn values to Live Smarter throughout their lives.

Kids can get started here:

Banzai Junior is part of our full Banzai Financial Education Program, consisting of FREE online financial literacy modules, providing education directly to our Members, to members of our community, and to local schools and teachers for use in their classrooms. They are all available online in self-paced, age-appropriate, fun and interactive modules. We believe that learning more about money management can help us all Live Smarter.
 

Banzai! Financial Education for Teens

September 10, 2018

Teen using the Banzai Financial Education Program

Learn About Money and Making Financial Choices

Play Banzai Teen

Banzai Teen is an interactive money game specifically designed for teens ages 13-18. Players simulate saving for college with a full-time job, living on their own, and handling important everyday decisions for living expenses, transportation, utilities, and more. Your choices affect the outcomes, in a safe space to try “what-ifs” with your money decisions. You can try as many times as you want, and find different ways to make things work before encountering these choices in the real world. 

To get started, simply sign in with your email, and create a unique password. You can go through as many modules as many times as you like. If you need to stop before you are finished, the program will allow you to jump right back in.

Gain skills while learning some basics about managing money, to Live Smarter.

Get started here:

Banzai Teen is part of our full Banzai Financial Education Program, consisting of FREE online financial literacy modules, providing education directly to our Members, to members of our community, and to local schools and teachers for use in their classrooms. They are all available online in self-paced, age-appropriate, fun and interactive modules. We believe that learning more about money management can help us all Live Smarter.
 

Posted in: kids, learn, management, money, teens

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