STATE — February 19-26 is America Saves Week, an effort aimed to increase awareness of the need to save money and reduce debt. It’s also a great opportunity for parents to educate children and teens about money and responsible decision-making.
“It’s important for parents to teach children about personal finance and saving so that they learn to make informed financial decisions,” said Jean Quinn, vice president of public relations at The Provident Bank. “Good money management is about forming good habits. The earlier kids develop these habits, the more it will become second nature to them.”
To encourage New Jersey residents to teach their children about money, Provident is offering some tips that will help kids make saving part of their routine.
1. Learn together. Don’t feel like you have to be a finance whiz or have an excellent handle on your own money situation. Ask your bank about youth accounts and sign up for a family finance class in your community.
2. Give them their own savings early. Provident offers a Young Saver Account with no minimum balance and interest paid on every penny. What better way for kids to learn financial literacy than by having their own savings account?
3. Give an allowance. Receiving a “paycheck” for helping with household chores not only instills good work ethic, it helps children form a mental budget about how much of their own money they want to spend.
4. Set financial goals. Before taking a vacation, explain to your child that they will need to bring their own spending money for souvenirs. Encourage them to save some of their allowance for the trip, and offer to match their savings.
5. Let kids make money decisions. Once you provide your children with money through an allowance or they earn it from a job, they should have the freedom to decide what to do with it. To help children understand what they need versus what they want, have them make a list of activities they’d like to do or things they’d like to purchase, and discuss it together.
6. Look for teachable moments. If your child has a bank account, go over the monthly statement with them. It’s a great opportunity to discuss budget, interest and spending habits.
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