Longford Credit Union is embarking on a financial education initiative for children in the Longford area. A savings and spending awareness week, known as GR8 Savers Week, will run between 7th and 13th May. The event aims to encourage parents and teachers to educate children about the importance of responsible money management and saving for the future. Experts agree that adult money habits are typically set by the age of seven, so it is never too early for children to start learning positive money behaviour.
During GR8 Savers Week, Longford Credit Union will run an activity sheet competition for all young savers while staff will be on-hand with helpful tips and guidance for parents on financial education. The awareness week is designed to be fun and enjoyable for young people, while also highlighting the value of money and the benefits of prudent spending.
Speaking about the initiative, Helen Whitney, Manager of Longford Credit Union said: “We see it as part of our commitment and responsibility to the Longford community to help ensure that our young people are taught how to become financially independent. Sound financial planning and prudent money management are skills that can be nurtured from a young age. Encouraging children and young people to develop a regular savings habit during GR8 Savers Week can assist them greatly in the future, especially when they need to manage budgets while at college or in their first job.”
Longford Credit Union is particularly involved in local schools across the Longford area and carry out a number of events for the benefit of the young people of Longford. We host the Credit Union Art Competition every year as well as the Credit Union Schools Quiz for both primary and second level students.
Helen continued: “All parents, children and teenagers are welcome to call into our credit union throughout the week to enjoy the fun and activity, and pick up some great tips on starting a healthy savings habit. It’s also an opportunity for young people to learn about the not-for-profit ethos of their local credit union and the fact that we will always be there for them in the future, offering fair and affordable loans for whatever they might need, be it college, a new car, a holiday or their wedding day.”
Longford Credit Union has also put together some of their top tips for teaching children how to develop a healthy and responsible attitude to money.
- Consider rewarding children for regular saving. Don’t focus on the amount saved, but the fact that they are developing a savings habit. Supporting and rewarding them to save even very small amounts on a regular basis will help to imbed the habit.
2. Help young people to decide on a savings goals – it’s good for them to have both a short term and a long term goal. They will find it much easier to save regularly when they are savings towards something they really want.
3. Dissuade young people from spending their savings on impulse. Remind them of their savings goal and what they originally wanted to save for. Share with them a story of something that you would have saved for when you were younger.
4. Help young people to develop a savings plan, calendar or mood-board to highlight when their goal will be achieved. Having a visual prop or a visual ‘countdown’ can also encourage them to stick to their target.
5. Give pocket money or allowances in small denominations and encourage them to put a little aside. Having a piggy bank, or better still a transparent jar so they can watch their money physically increase, is also a good idea.
6. Consider linking pocket money and allowances to chores or responsibilities in the home. This helps to embed the idea that money must be earned. The more effort required to earn their money, the less likely they will be to spend on impulse or all at once.
7. If pocket money and allowances run out at an early stage, don’t rush to replace them. Providing additional money at the drop of a hat will defeat the purpose of giving a set allowance.
8. Why not bring them in to Longford Credit Union to open their own credit union account. This will give them a sense of independence and responsibility.
Don’t forget to drop into Longford Credit Union between the 7th and 11th of May for more information and to collect your activity sheet to be entered into our competition (More details to follow on Facebook).