Whether you’re teaching finances to your kids, your grandkids, or those of a loved one, it’s essential to teach children how to manage the money they have now so they can be money savvy in the future.
An understanding of spending, including the ability to budget for and track it, is perhaps the most essential money skill you can teach to a child. Children need to recognize that purchases cost money and that money is in limited supply—they can’t just buy everything they want. They must plan ahead so that they can afford everything they need, and this is why a budget is a necessity. It’s important to acknowledge that budgeting always involves making adjustments. They shouldn’t expect to get it right the first time.
It’s important for children to recognize that saving is the secret to getting what they want. In order to do that, they need to recognize the difference between dumping money into an abstract savings fund and saving with a purpose. When it comes to the actual act of saving, teach that creating (and sticking to) goals is key. They may choose to save a regular percentage of their income or a certain amount each month. As an incentive to focus on saving, consider making a matching contribution by adding 50 cents for every dollar your child saves.
Investing is a powerful financial tool that everyone should understand. The sooner you start teaching your kids the basics, the better! Help your children understand that the goal is to buy when things are inexpensive and sell when they’re worth more. Investing is often done by buying stocks (very small parts of a company). Stocks are worth more when the company is doing well and less when the company is struggling. Since you own part of the company, you may also get payments when that company earns a lot of money. As the child gets older, you can touch on more complex aspects of investing.
Discussing these topics can help your child form a foundation of financial literacy. Once your child begins to master the basics, expand to others. You could teach about the 3 jar method, the 50/30/20 rule, and more! What’s most important is that you keep an open conversation with your child about money and the importance of managing it carefully.
Opening Accounts for Children
A youth account is a great way to help your child get started on learning about spending, saving and managing their money. Most financial institutions offer accounts built specifically for minors. At Town & Country, we offer free savings for children 17 and younger and checking accounts with debit cards for children ages 14 to 17.
- Saving Account -- Joint ownership for parents, grandparents or guardians can open a joint account for their child for as little as $1. You can link your child(ren) accounts to your online banking to make it easy to send regular deposits or even schedule transfers like weekly allowance. To help kids save for that first bike or a gaming system, you can set up special sub-accounts. Your child(ren) can even keep track of their saving and spending by using Town & Country’s mobile app or online banking. Plus, there are no monthly service fees.
- Checking Account -- Teens as young as 14 are eligible for a Town & Country checking account. Teens can learn to manage their money by using online banking and the credit union’s mobile app. This makes it quick and easy to deposit checks from their part-time jobs or birthday gifts. Spending will be easy and convenient with a Town & Country debit card in their pocket or by loading it in their mobile wallet. Plus, it is easy to transfer money to your teen to pay their allowance or gas money. An added bonus is you can monitor their account and spending online.
You can open a Town & Country youth savings or checking account online in just 5 minutes. To learn more about Town & Country’s youth accounts, visit here.
If you have questions, visit tcfcu.com or call 800.649.3495 to schedule an appointment today.