April is Youth Financial Literacy Month, so we thought we’d share why we find financial literacy among our youth so important.
As parents, we want our kids to be successful and to make the right choices. We try our best to teach them all that we know, so how has financial literacy escaped conversation at the dinner table? If we’re not talking about money and finances with one another, how do we expect to teach our kids to become financially stable?
The Child Development Institute lists some good ideas of how you can teach your kids the value of money. The main points are:
- Provide an Allowance. They’ll need somewhere to start. Give your kids a weekly or monthly allowance, or provide chores around the house for them to complete to earn some spare cash.
- Lead by Example. Teach your kids to separate their funds into pools or pots. One can be for savings, one for a new toy or goal they want to achieve, one for a gift for their parent/grandparent/sibling, and so on. Show them one of your utility bills and make a goal of lowering it for the next month. This will teach them the effect using every-day utilities has on monthly bills and income.
- Provide Practice. Play games with your kids that teach them the value of a dollar. Monopoly is the most common and popular for this, but can be difficult for younger kids. Check out Kids.gov to find alternative, age-appropriate games.
- Give Feedback. Support your teachings and lessons with praise and encouragement — include rewards in exchange for good financial decisions. Also, give your children suggestions and direction for better financial decisions if they seem to be getting off-track.
TopLine’s Get Smart with your Money program
We believe that it’s never too early to talk with your kids about money, which is why we have the program Get Smart With Your Money — a financial education enterprise that encourages conversation about money among your family. There are three different age-specific groups that tailor to the needs and understandings of your children:
Building Dreams (ages 5-8)
- This is a baseline course about the concepts of spending, saving and sharing. It will involve storytelling, worksheets, and other fun activities.
Dollar Power (ages 9-13)
- Inspired by the National Endowment for Financial Education and the Money Smarts curriculum offered by the National Association of Federal Credit Union, this course teaches the difference between needs and wants, planning and goal setting, saving and paying yourself first, spending wisely and gift cards. Kids will be given real-life scenarios and asked questions about the importance of saving and spending wisely.
Dollars & Sense (ages 14-18)
- This course digs deeper into the concepts that were taught in Dollar Power and expands further on sound money management, checking accounts, debit and credit cards and the significance of credit. Again, students will be taught by example with real-life scenarios and thought-provoking questions.
These sessions are offered Saturday, April 23 and Thursday, October 18 at 11:30 AM. They will be held at TopLine’s Maple Grove Learning Center located at 9353 Jefferson Highway.
For more information, give TopLine a call at 763-391-9494 or you can register online.