CONSIDER THIS: Children and Finances
Georgia consumers feel strongly about teaching their children about finances, according to a 2015 End-of-Year Survey by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.
Seventy-five percent of respondents said it’s extremely important for parents to teach their children about finances, 20 percent said it’s very important and three percent said it’s important. Not a single respondent said it’s not important at all.
According to the survey, 66 percent of respondents said they received most of their financial education through life experiences, 20 percent said they learned at home and 10 percent said they were financially educated either at school or at a financial institution.
The 2015 Annual Parents, Kids & Money Survey conducted by T. Rowe Price shows 28 percent of children are very knowledgeable about personal finances and 21 percent are knowledgeable when it comes to credit. The survey indicated areas where children lack knowledge are inflation, taxes and mortgages.
Eighty-four percent of American teens look to their parents to learn about money management, according to the Junior Achievement’s 2015 Teens and Personal Finance Survey, sponsored by The Allstate Foundation. However, according to the study, many parents feel uncomfortable talking about money matters with their kids due to a level of discomfort with the subject – or their own financial missteps.
Northwest Georgia Credit Union Director of Marketing Stephanie Graves says it’s important to offer financial education to young people because it’s the best way to strategically combat future financial hindrances in adulthood.
“It’s never too early to start teaching children financial education,” Graves said. “Even very young children are often interested in coins and paper money. Northwest Georgia Credit Union begins its financial literacy programs in kindergarten classrooms, where most children are about age 5.”
Graves said financial principles should be introduced based on the child’s age-level.
“Credit unions can be a great resource for students to learn these topics, as well as teachers and parents,” Graves said. “Education-based savings accounts for kids are a great place to start. Also, many credit unions have resources for teachers and parents on their website. Northwest Georgia Credit Union offers a free classroom program to help teachers meet classroom requirements and provide valuable financial education for students.”
Tips for Teaching Age-Appropriate Financial Lessons:
- Age 5-6 –Consider working on the basics like identifying coins and bills and learning their values. Playing “store” is a fun way kids can practice purchasing different items for money.
- Ages 6-9 – Focus on identifying the difference between wants and needs. Flash cards can help children visualize the concept.
- Elementary – Build on the above topics, and add in concepts of decision-making, goals and budgeting.
- Middle School – Cover basic money management topics such as how to write checks, use a transaction register and manage real-life expenses. Incorporate crossword puzzles, numbers games and practice writing checks.
- High School – Teach personal finance topics such as managing a checking account, managing expenses with a budget and credit versus debit transactions.
- To learn more about credit unions in your community and what financial literacy programs they offer, visit: http://www.asmarterchoice.org/.