In many households today, money isn’t often discussed with children. Not having those conversations makes it difficult for kids as they grow up. As a 19-year-old college student, money management is incredibly important. Luckily, my parents taught me a few lessons that I still follow today.
Don’t “Kill” Money
This is definitely the most unique piece of money advice my dad has ever given me. By telling me not to kill my money, he meant I shouldn’t spend when it is completely avoidable. For example, when I overdrew my checking account and had to pay a fee, I felt horrible about it and apologized to my dad. Instead of being mad, he said, “It’s okay. You’re just killing your money!” Now, I always recognize when saving money or avoiding fees is possible. As for that overdraft fee, well that leads me to the next money lesson my parents taught me.
Manage Your Accounts
As soon as I got my first job, my parents signed me up for Digital Banking. With the Connexus App, my parents taught me how to transfer money from my savings to my checking and how to use Mobile Deposit. They encouraged me to use these tools to become more knowledgeable about my money, and it worked!
Save For a Sunny Day
This is something my mom was a pro at! Instead of saving for rainy days, she saved for sunny ones. Whether she’d find a dollar just laying around or in the laundry, she would almost always put it away in a special stash. Then, on a day when the weather was beautiful we would use the money for a fun and completely unnecessary adventure. Whether it was the community pool or the Wisconsin Dells, it always made for happy kids and great memories, for the cost of what felt like nothing.
Save Your Change
Saving change is a fun experience for kids, and nickels and dimes add up fast. My parents keep a large change jar in the house, and as a kid I loved to dump out the money, count it, and see the savings add up. When the jar was full, my parents would bring my brother and I to the credit union with them and let us help pour the money into the change counter. Then, right there, they would deposit it into our college savings. This taught me that saving even seemingly worthless amounts of money can add up to a lot.
There are simple things all parents can say and do to help their kids in the long run. My parents helped me and I couldn’t be more thankful. I am glad to have even a little familiarity with finances, and a credit union that I know will help me learn along the way as my needs evolve.