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School is in Session:

August 17, 2023
School is in Session:
Teaching Smart Money Habits for Kids with FirstLight Federal Credit Union 

As the new school year sets into motion, students are once again exploring new topics and expanding their knowledge. As many families know, education doesn’t end at school and at FirstLight, we often hear from parents seeking guidance on how to teach their children smart financial habits and set them on a path to financial success. Our financial counselors believe that early education about money is essential, and it can be an enjoyable experience for both parents and kids. 

Here are three engaging activities designed to introduce younger children to the world of money and savings: 

1.Visual Savings: Children love watching their savings grow! Try replacing a traditional piggy bank with a clear jar. This simple switch allows kids to see their progress, reinforcing the idea of saving. 

2.Chores with Purpose: Create simple money-earning tasks for your child, encouraging them to save a portion while allowing for spending. This hands-on experience teaches them the value of money and the importance of saving first. 

3.Roleplay and Creativity: Engage kids’ natural creativity by roleplaying trips to the grocery store or visiting a financial institution. Let them fill out checks, deposit slips, and even pretend to run their own business, planting seeds of financial responsibility. 

Teaching teenagers about money requires a different approach. It’s all about independence, responsibility, and planning for the future. 

1.Honest Conversations: Teens value honesty and authenticity. Share your financial mistakes; it’s a powerful way to show them that learning from setbacks is part of the journey.  

2.Accounts for Teens: Consider setting up a checking and savings account for your teen. Many financial institutions, including FirstLight, offer accounts designed specifically for teens. These accounts provide a sense of autonomy while allowing parents to monitor and set spending limits. 

3.Understanding Savings and Investments: Encourage teens to set a goal for a significant, fun purchase. Work together on budgeting and even consider matching their savings as a reward for discipline. Also consider online investment simulator programs to help understand the world of investing, allowing teens to learn about stocks, buying, selling, and trading. 

4.Real-World Costs: Research college costs and starting salaries for your teen’s desired career path. It’s an eye-opener for many teens. This discussion opens the door to exploring options like scholarships, student loans, and part-time jobs as part of their education plan. 

At FirstLight Federal Credit Union, we believe in empowering families to create a strong financial foundation for their children. We’re here to support you on this journey, providing valuable resources, advice, and the financial services your family needs to thrive. The FirstLight Community Foundation offers Zogo- a financial literacy mobile game app that teaches you about money and rewards you for doing so! The app has more than 800 modules in English and Spanish to help teens and adults understand finances. If you’re ready to begin your children’s saving journey with FirstLight, check out our Youth Accounts and open the account from the comfort of your own home using Live Video Banking. 

Together we can prepare the next generation for a brighter financial future!  

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