Blackrock Credit Union is encouraging children in Blackrock to get rocking with their savings this May! The credit union launches its ‘GR8 Savers’ financial education initiative this week (May 6th to 12th). The financial awareness week aims to get parents and teachers talking to children about the importance of saving for the future.
Experts believe that the age you learn about responsible money management and how to save has a huge impact on how you will handle finances as an adult. The wide-scale study by behaviour experts at Cambridge University also revealed that financial habits in adults are typically set by age seven. So it is never too early for children to start learning prudent financial behaviour!
Speaking about the Gr8 Savers initiative, Conn Collins, Manager, Blackrock Credit Union said: “A huge part of our ethos at Blackrock Credit Union is financial education for the community. As part of our commitment to the local area, we want to ensure that our future generations are financially educated and empowered. Sound financial planning and prudent money management are skills that can be nurtured from a young age. Encouraging children and young people to develop a regular savings habit during GR8 Savers Week can assist them greatly in the future, especially when they need to manage budgets while at college or in their first job. So we’re encouraging all children to rock on down to us here at the credit union and open their very first savings account!”
The awareness week is designed to be fun and enjoyable for young people, while also highlighting the value of money and the benefits of prudent spending.
Mr Collins continued: “All parents, children and teenagers are welcome to call into our credit union throughout the week to pick up some great tips on starting a healthy savings habit. It’s also an opportunity for young people to learn about the not-for-profit ethos of their local credit union and the fact that we will always be there for them in the future, offering fair and affordable loans for whatever they might need, be it college, a new car, a holiday or their wedding day.”
Blackrock Credit Union has also put together some top tips for teaching children how to develop a healthy and responsible attitude to money.
- Consider rewarding children for regular saving. Don’t focus on the amount saved, but the fact that they are developing a savings habit. Supporting and rewarding them to save even very small amounts on a regular basis will help to imbed the habit.
- Help young people to decide on a savings goal. They will find it much easier to save regularly when they are savings towards something they really want.
- Dissuade young people from spending their savings on impulse. Remind them of their savings goal and what they originally wanted to save for. Share with them a story of something that you would have saved for when you were younger.
- Help young people to develop a savings plan, calendar or mood-board to highlight when their goal will be achieved. Having a visual prop or a visual ‘countdown’ can also encourage them to stick to their target.
- Give pocket money or allowances in small denominations and encourage them to put a little aside. Giving them a transparent piggy bank or jar so they can watch their money physically increase, is also a good idea.
- Consider linking pocket money and allowances to chores or responsibilities in the home. This helps to embed the idea that money must be earned. The more effort required to earn their money, the less likely they will be to spend on impulse or all at once.
- If pocket money and allowances run out at an early stage, don’t rush to replace them. Providing additional money at the drop of a hat will defeat the purpose of giving a set allowance.
- Why not bring them in to Blackrock Credit Union to open their own credit union account. This will give them a sense of independence and responsibility.
*University of Cambridge 2013 Study; Habit Formation and Learning in Young Children