One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is a financial education. We all want our children to succeed in life, which means helping them become financially stable. Once they reach college age and leave the comfort and safety of your home, a solid understanding of banking and financial best practices is critical to helping them avoid getting into debt at an early age.
More than three-quarters of adults live paycheck-to-paycheck, and 40% say they wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency expense. Looking towards the future, a third of Americans have no retirement savings, and almost a quarter have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.
Saving isn’t easy. Neither is avoiding debt. But it can be easier if children learn about banking and finance from an early age. Currently, fewer than half of U.S. states require high school students to pass a personal finance course as a graduation requirement. But, parents have to manage finances every month, which gives them an opportunity to teach their children good financial habits.
The American Bankers Association (ABA) understands that financial literacy is critical for children, and since 1997, the ABA Foundation has sponsored its Teach Children to Save program to promote financial literacy to millions of elementary and middle school students.
Today, April 22, is this year’s Teach Children to Save Day. It’s a free national program that is designed to help young people develop savings habits at early ages and covers topics like saving, financial decision making, interest, banking careers, and more. The goal of the program is to help children understand the value of saving and develop the knowledge, tools, and skills to make informed financial decisions throughout their lives. The ABA has created a series of interactive resources for you and your children of all ages (including high schoolers and young adults) to help build their financial literacy.
The Milford Bank also supports financial literacy for children and offers its own Centsible Kids program designed to teach smart money habits to your kids. The Centsible Kids program includes a free, kid-friendly mobile app – available for both iOS and Android devices – that encourages your children to become financially literate at an early age. Key features of the Centsible Kids app include:
- Games that teach financial knowledge and skills
- Enabling kids to track spending, saving and giving goals
- Foster positive family conversations around money
- Allows safe tracking of money virtually without connecting to your actual bank accounts.
We know children pick up habits very quickly. That means they will pick up good financial habits just as quickly as they will pick up bad ones. So why not put them on a path to financial success early by helping them develop good savings and spending habits, encourage giving, and giving them a chance to practice their math skills in the process?
To learn more about the Centsible Kids program and app, contact any office of The Milford Bank.