Home > Money Smart
Your kids have pencils, notebooks, and backpacks. But are they
really prepared for the new school year?
By Scott Biggs
your child is not "money smart", he or she may not be ready for
school. Children who do not have at least a basic knowledge about
finances could struggle at school -- and at life.
It is never too
early -- and it's never too late -- to teach kids and teens about
money. It helps them become independent and thrive in the "real
should know the value of coins and cash, and they should be able
to verify that they are getting the correct change if they
purchase something. Pre-teens should know the "value" of money,
understand how to make and follow a budget, and
they should learn responsible use of credit cards. Teens should
know the basics of personal finance so they'll be ready to enter life
on their own.
There are plenty of
good books on the subject available at your local library,
bookstore, or on websites like amazon.com. Chances are, you'll
learn some things about smart money management as you teach your
kids about it.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach
Their Kids About Money --That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
by Robert T.
Kiyosaki & Sharon L. Lechter
Awesome Money Book for Kids, Second Edition by Adriane G.
Berg, Arthur Berg Bochner
Allowances - How Much, How Often & How Come, A Guide for Parents
Kids and Money:
Giving Them Savvy to Succeed Financially
(Your credit union
may also have some helpful information for you)
Parents can help
their children succeed this school year by providing them with
some Money ABCs:
A. TEACH YOUR KIDS TO
Saving money is the most important financial habit you can
teach your child. Luckily, it is also the simplest. Every time
your child receives money -- allowance, birthday, or earnings from
a job -- encourage her to save part of it, either in a piggy bank
or at a credit union. By doing this, you are establishing a habit
as important as brushing her teeth or saying 'please' and
goals is a big part of learning how to save. If your child wants you to buy him something, tell
him that he'll have to save some of his own money to help buy it.
Work with him to set a goal of saving $20, $50, or $100,
depending on the cost of the object and his ability to earn money.
It is not the amount that matters, it's the habit of saving
something. A Kids Club at a credit union is a great start.
Most Kids Clubs and Teen Clubs require only $5 to open an account. Many times,
these clubs offer additional incentives to save.
TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT CREDIT.
A record number of people are declaring personal bankruptcies
because they have not managed their debts well (or they never
learned the importance of savings). Teach your child to use credit
cards and loans responsibly so they never get into debt trouble.
By the time your child is in his late teens, credit card companies
and lenders will start sending him credit offers. Make sure he is
C. TEACH YOUR KIDS
THE BASICS OF PERSONAL FINANCE.
Many teens enter "the real world" without knowing how to write
checks or find the best rates on loans. They need to know this
"real-life" information. Let your kids help you pay some bills or
apply for a car loan. They'll have to do it themselves someday.
Are you preparing them for that day?
Kids Clubs make money lessons fun
One of the best ways to get kids started learning about money is
to enroll them in a kids club or a teens club at
your credit union. Most only require an initial $5 to start an
account, and many credit unions offer fun gifts and contests
throughout the year to encourage them to save money.
Many credit unions also offer fun websites for kids that teach
money lessons with online games.
Your credit union
also has information that will help you teach your child about
money. So send your students back to school this year "Money Smart!"
Top 5 Personal Credit Practices
Kids aren't the only ones who benefit from financial
education. Adults can take control of their money by learning
about finances, too.
Treasury Dept. and the Federal Reserve Board have listed the top
five fundamental practices that consumers should follow to manage
their personal credit. Many credit unions have staff members
available to help you take control of your finances by following
these 'Money Smart' practices:
Build savings to avoid high-cost debt and improve payment options.
2. Pay bills on time to avoid late-payment costs and poor
3. Pay more than the minimum payment on debts.
4. Comparison shop for credit and obtain only the credit
5. Understand your credit history and how it affects you.
materials are available for Ohio teachers
Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives that exist under the
common motto of "People Helping People." We see a lot of people in
financial trouble and we want to prevent that by giving kids the
financial tools they need to succeed.
Ohio credit unions
are helping to make free classroom materials on financial literacy
available to all teachers. These materials can be included as part
of teachers' regular curricula in math, home economics, social
studies, or any course where teachers are preparing their students
to succeed in life.
credit unions across the state are also available to teach
students about money or to assist teachers. Use the link in the
green box at right to view this list.
e-mail the Ohio Credit Union League for more information.
Return to the home page
Top of Page
The Ohio Credit Union League, with
offices in Dublin, is a state trade association representing more
than 500 credit unions. Credit unions are not-for-profit
financial institutions owned and democratically controlled by
their members. Ohio credit unions provide savings, loans,
and other consumer financial services to their nearly 3 million
members. To learn more, visit