Column by Michael Joyce: Prioritizing financial lessons for young people | Chroniclers
To truly have an impact, however, financial lessons cannot be relegated to school alone. Adults need to be more active in financial education for the children in their lives. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or even neighbors can help young people better prepare for their financial future.
Many adults avoid talking about money with their children. Yes, these conversations can be difficult and awkward, but exposing young people to basic financial management will give them the life skills they desperately need.
Adults would do better to start with three areas. First, help the young people open a savings or checking account at a local bank or credit union. This first story is an incredible teaching opportunity to talk about savings, interest and more. Second, create a budget together. Make the budget relevant to them by focusing on clothes, groceries, or spending money. Work together to update the budget and track expenses weekly or monthly. Third, if you don’t have a 529 savings account, open one. Use this account to save for college and to discuss the investment with the kids.
These areas are especially relevant during the summer months as many young people take on summer jobs. Adults can work with them on how to save their money and budget properly. Plus, with youth out of school for the summer, adults may take longer to discuss financial lessons. For example, teach kids to budget by taking them to the grocery store with a budget in hand. They can help make decisions about what to buy with that budget.