As plugged in as our kids are today, they remain dangerously oblivious to money matters. However the fact remains it can make or break their financial future. Our schools focus on other skills and leave the all-important topic of money to the parents. We find often in articles around the internet how as parents we teach our children about money through our own lifestyle. What is your financial behavior showing your kids? Is it a case of “don’t do what I do, do what I tell you”?

In our daily lives we must open conversations with our kids about money. Why? To teach children a) how to think about money and b) make responsible decisions in using it. They learn value from the daily routine by helping with simple tasks at home. This lets your child understand how each person can contribute to the family. Let him/her know their contribution is valued. Depending on your child’s age, interest, and abilities  simple jobs such as: picking up toys, doing simple yard work, taking care of the family pets, cleaning dishes after meals, and putting away groceries teaches them how they are making a difference in the family. An allowance can be an effective teaching tool.

Summertime is a perfect opportunity to start money talks with your children. With extra time on their hands starting the simple jobs around the house can open the door to a conversation about saving money. Here at Access we are all about encouraging kids to save and throughout the summer months we are giving incentives to our young savers (thru age 13). Each time a child comes into one of our branches to deposit money they can pick a prize out of our swimming pools (one in each lobby). In addition we will put each child’s name into a weekly drawing for one of these prizes: 2 passes to Wonderland, Splash or the Discovery Center.

Don’t put off talking to your children about money matters. It’s never too soon to start that conversation. Next time we’ll talk about the difference between “Needs vs. Wants”.