National Youth Financial Literacy Month 2017

April is National Youth Financial Literacy Month. Teaching your children about financial literacy can help them develop and carry financially savvy habits well into adulthood. The basics of a financial education should include guidance on spending, saving, and managing money. Ensure that your child is on the path toward a financially stable future by teaching them these basic lessons.

coins

Teaching Young Children to Save

Kids are never too young to learn the basics of handling money. While younger kids won’t need to pour over financial spreadsheets with you, they can benefit from learning about the meaning of making, spending, and saving money. Introduce coins and paper bills to your child to help explain counting, currency, and equivalency. Encourage your kids to begin saving coins in a clear jar. A clear jar will help them visualize the savings.

If it works for your family, an allowance is a novel way of learning about money management. Consider a few of the following tips as you set an allowance:

  • Set clear expectations of what your child has to do to earn an allowance. Whether they have to finish chores or keep their grades up, this will help them learn about goal-setting and the value of money.
  • Set a clear amount. Give them a “raise” as they get older or take on more responsibilities.
  • Be clear about using an allowance as a tool of money management, not as reward or punishment. This can help your child develop a healthy relationship with their finances and a better understanding of money.
  • Encourage them to set goals on spending. What do they want to save for and how can they get there? Now is the perfect time to open a savings account and teach them about saving and contributing.

lemonade-stand

Savings Tips for Pre-teens

Framing how you discuss money with your kids can affect how they perceive money management. Encourage honest communication about money. Be forthright with your own money mistakes from overspending, not saving enough for college, or not being financially independent until adulthood. Also share your successes—paying off debts, successfully budgeting for a down payment, etc.

Encourage your children to ask questions about money. Teach your children about budgeting and include them on family budgeting for things like groceries, Holiday gift shopping, and planning family events. Explore online resources, like Kids.gov to learn more about money management together.

Teens

Important Teen Saving Plans

Now is the time that your child becomes more financially independent. Encourage them to take on more responsibilities at home and to find a job. This way they can learn, with guidance, about managing their own money.

As your teen gets closer to high school graduation, make sure that they know about the following on money management:

  • Have a solid understanding of the basics of saving and spending
  • Review the costs of tuition, living, meal plans, education, etc. of college
  • Set up financial accounts and have an understanding of their student loan system
  • Safety when handling secure financial and private information including, but not limited to passwords, account numbers, PIN, ATM transactions, and more

Free Youth Financial Literacy Sessions from TopLine

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 initiative 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)
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 22 and Thursday, October 19 starting at 9:00 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.

 

Teaching Your Kids to be Financially Literate

Teaching Your Kids

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.