As Citizens Bank’s Plainfield Branch Manager, one of the things I enjoy most is seeing families bring their children in and helping them get started learning about money.
As a mother, it’s something I understand as well—I have two teenagers, and teaching young people about money is important to me. My kids recently landed their first jobs and just opened checking accounts, so they’re learning to monitor their accounts, set up direct deposit, and be responsible with their money.
There are always teachable moments around money. My son kept asking to go to Chick-fil-A but it was getting expensive, so I agreed but told him he could buy his lunch with his own money. On one recent trip, the total bill came to $11 and he was shocked! He stopped asking to go as often because now he has an appreciation of what things cost.
Here are some financial literacy tips I like to share with our customers who are parents.
Start saving young
Kids as young as preschool can start understanding how to save. Our branches offer free little green piggy banks and quarter savers for children to have a special place to keep their money.
Join our Junior Savers program
Kids can start saving at any age with one of our quarter saver books, allowing them to collect quarters and then use the money they’ve saved to open their own Junior Savers account. One thing to note is that a parent is required to be on the account too until the child turns 18. This allows kids to begin banking with the guidance of a parent, and eventually become financially responsible and independent young adults.
Use online apps
Let’s face it… Our children are well versed with the digital era we live in today, so I encourage you to lean into that and introduce your kids to our online services. These can help your kids learn how to keep tabs on their money in a way that’s easy and fun.
Foster their interest
If you can focus your financial lessons on an area your child cares about, it will have a bigger impact. For example, help a sports-crazy kid save to participate in a tournament or buy new equipment. If your child loves shopping, teach them how to look around and find good deals and show them how their savings add up.
Teaching your kids to be good stewards of their money pays off in the long run by fostering a sense of interest and responsibility. This will give them a terrific head start toward becoming financially secure adults.
If you are interested in learning more about our Junior Savers Program, reach out to me via email at email@example.com. I am more than happy to introduce you and your family to the program that has helped my own children immensely.