We often hear that our children are our greatest asset, the door to the future. How can we help them build confidence in their financial future?
One good answer is a credit union share savings account. By encouraging regular savings at a credit union you prepare your kids to meet the demands of an increasingly complex financial world. A regular savings program helps both younger children and teenagers understand the basics of personal finance and the importance of building sound money management habits. It demonstrates the power of savings to help youngsters reach their goals. It prepares them for the day when they'll manage their own money.
Even very young children can grasp the fundamentals of saving, and become excited about having their very own savings program. As they grow and acquire allowances, after-school jobs, and other income sources, children can see those savings add up--and their pride and independence grow, too.
A way to demonstrate good savings habits is to teach your children the basic fundamentals. As a parent, create a list of every item your child spends money on. This will be an outline of a budget. Make sure to list every item including video games, coloring books, football cards, dolls, and candy or special treats. With your child, estimate the expense of each item and compare that to how much money they are receiving from allowances, gifts, etc. Then, with your child, decide which items they believe are necessary. After deciding on the necessary items, explain to your child that the extra money goes into savings (or a savings account). Each month, spend time reviewing your child's budget and taking them to the credit union to put money in their savings account. Occasionally, give the child the opportunity to spend a certain amount of the savings toward a treasured item that they have been asking for.
Make it clear to your child that the most important reason to start saving early and regularly is that saving helps young people develop the skills they'll need to be intelligent credit consumers. A record of regular savings tells the credit union this young person can handle the responsibility of repaying that first loan for a car, college, or educational travel.
Having demonstrated the ability to stick to a planned program, loan officers are more likely to approve a loan application. In this situation, the share savings account does double duty, because the young borrower--lacking any credit history--can use it as security for a loan.
So don't wait. Help your children open share savings accounts and encourage them to add to them each week or month.
Remember, it's not the amount of the deposit that counts: It's establishing sound, lifelong financial habits that will make more complex financial transactions later on easier, and more comfortable. Visit NSWC Federal Credit Union's Web site (www.nswcfcu.org) now to start your kids on the road to confident money management.
NSWC Federal Credit Union was federally chartered in 1961, and has grown into a full-service credit union with total assets of over 256 million dollars. The Credit Union values their members' trust, and they work diligently to offer the financial services that their members need and want. It is also important to note that the members' deposits are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government - National Credit Union Administration, a U. S. Government Agency. For more information on NSWC Federal Credit Union visit www.nswcfcu.org. "Everything we do, we do for YOU!"