Teaching children about financial responsibility while they are young

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:38

    OAK RIDGE — The recession, which has millions of Americans stressing over finances, is one reason parents, educators and financial experts should talk about money with young spenders. The Pew Research Center found that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Americans acknowledge not saving enough, and the Charles Schwab Teens and Money 2007 Survey revealed that 24 percent of teens think saving is unimportant because they are young. To address this locally, the Oak Ridge- based Lakeland Bank participates in the American Banker’s Association “Teach Children to Save” campaign which officials said can help turn young spenders into savvy adult savers who are responsible with their earnings. The annual campaign also raises awareness about the important role banks play in helping young people develop positive lifelong savings habits, officials added. Each spring, as part of the campaign centered around “Teach Children to Save Day” on April 12, branch managers visit students at local elementary schools to promote the importance of good financial habits. Here’s some saving and budgeting tips to share with children: Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage questions, and be prepared to answer them — even the tough ones. Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value in saving and budgeting, and the consequences of not doing so. Set up a chore chart and give your children an allowance for completing their tasks. Require them to save at least a small portion each week. The three-jar method, one for spending, one for saving and one for charitable contributions, is a good way to impart a sense of responsibility. Keep 50 percent of spending money in the jar at all times. Open up a savings account at a local bank for children and take them with you to make deposits, so children can learn how to be hands-on in their money management. 6. Be an example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time and being a conscientious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits. Classroom materials that will be used on “Teach Children to Save Day” support curriculum standards established by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS). To learn more, visit the American Bankers Association Web site at www.aba.com.