Four lessons that will last a lifetime

Four lessons that will last a lifetime

This year’s Youth Month is “Be a Credit Union Saver and Your Savings Will Never Go Extinct.” Together, we’re encouraging our youngest members to open their own savings account (with a parent or guardian’s help), begin a habit of putting money into that account regularly to help them save, and GROW for the future.  

Opening a UKRFCU Savings Account for Your Child 

Opening a savings account for your child(ren) is the first step toward their future financial success. By opening the savings account, you create a separate space allocated for your child’s savings, by having their account at a Credit Union, is a great financial decision. Credit Unions tend to have higher savings rates for your accounts (thus growing your money faster), and have fewer fees!  

Starting School 

At UKRFCU one can create a savings account for their child(ren) so that you/ they can start to save for the future. As the child(ren) grows older, they can become more involved in the process. Once they are old enough to attend school, students can join our Student Savers program at our participating Ukrainian Schools. Students develop a routine every Saturday to store away money into their savings accounts. This program inspires and educates students to make smarter decisions towards achieving financial success while getting rewarded with gifts in the process For more information on this program, please visit https://ukrfcu.com/accounts/student-savers/.  

Turning 16 

When a UKRFCU member turns 16, they are eligible to open a UKRFCU Share Draft (Checking Account) and receive a VISA Debit Card which they can use to access their funds. Now your child can have the firsthand experience of managing their money like an adult. This is a key point in time for them because now they can access the money in their account and use it in any way they please. However, if they have a good knowledge of good money habits they will hopefully stick to them and use their money more responsibly.   

For more information on this program, please visit https://ukrfcu.com/when-happens-when-member-turns-16/. 

Here are four easy ways for you to help teach your kids good financial habits when they are young: 

  1. Delay it. Avoid offering your child instant gratification — a child can adapt to being patient and waiting for a reward. “My son wants to play, literally, nonstop and he wants to play right now. And so I’ll say, ‘five minutes — give me five minutes, and then I’ll play with you,’” DeGaetano said. Similar to putting money in a savings account and keeping it aside for a special thing they want to buy, it will take some time. Patience is key. 
  2. Play it. Incorporate currency while playing games or make-believe with your child. If they are play-cooking, offer to “buy” what they’re making and pass on what you “can’t afford.” If they are dressing up toys or dolls, discuss where the doll gets their clothes and how they cost money to buy. 
  3. Say it. It helps to be transparent with your own spending so your child can see how it all works. “When we’re buying pizza, it’s OK to tell the kids what the pizza costs,” DeGaetano explained. “That doesn’t mean you need to sit down with a net worth statement and go through all that stuff you buy with your kids, but it’s very important.” If your kids are a little bit older, take them to the bank to open an account. “My kids and I went to the bank and it was nice, they were excited about it. And they were learning about how when they get to be a certain age, they’re going to get paid.” 
  4. Display it. It’s not just about teaching good money habits, it’s being a good role model, too. “If you, as a parent, want to really teach your kids about money, one of the first things you can do is be a good steward of your own dollar and walk the walk,” DeGaetano advised. “Kids are going to look up to you.” 

To wrap this up, we want to emphasize this. If you want your children to develop good spending and saving habits, they need to see you making smart spending and saving choices. In short, practice what you preach. And preach with consistency. Educating your children about personal finance is a process that can take time. But if you put in the effort and continuously communicate a clear message about money, you will instill good habits that will serve your children well.