Credit Unions Launch Annual GR8 Savers Week
Media Release: 07 May 2012
YOUTH SAVINGS INITIATIVE TO RUN FROM 7th - 13th MAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY
The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) has called on parents to spend some time this year talking to their children about being sensible with money and why it’s important to save for a rainy day.
The call comes as the ILCU launches its annual GR8 Savers Week. The initiative aims to highlight the need to provide children with a healthy attitude to money and savings and underlines the important role that parents can play in assisting children to develop a savings habit.
GR8 Savers week will run from the Monday 7th – 13th May 2012 in credit unions around the country.
Commenting on the launch, ILCU CEO Kieron Brennan said: “We have all had to tighten our belts and times are very difficult for many, many families around the country. It has never been more important to provide a solid financial education to our young people. A healthy attitude to money is crucial to ensure that children don’t develop bad habits when it comes to money management. Studies have shown that the development of a savings habit at a young age results in that healthy attitude to money staying with them through to adult life”.
He added: The benefits of teaching children about money early on are both immediate and long term. In the short term, they may develop strong saving habits, learn how to make smart purchases and learn why they can't immediately get everything they want. In the long term, we can help them avoid getting into debt. And by teaching the value of saving for the future, you can put them on the road to financial security. Parents can play a critical role in critical role in assisting children to develop a savings habit.”
TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS TO HELP CHILDREN DEVELOP SMART MONEY HABITS
- Pocket money is a good way to help children learn to make their own decisions and live with them. How much to give will depend on age, maturity, responsibilities and the family’s financial situation.
- Give the pocket money in small denominations to encourage children to put some aside as savings.
- Consider linking pocket money to chores. Pocket money must be earned, the same way Mum or Dad earn money by going to work.
- Give advice to children but let them make their own spending decisions and mistakes. Don’t scold for mistakes; instead help them to see the error of their ways and learn for the future.
- Play simple counting games with notes and coins with young children.
- Consider rewarding children for regular saving (perhaps topping up savings).
- Make saving interesting. Develop a savings plan or calendar to show when and how the goal can be reached or help children to paint a picture of what they’re saving for.
- Let children learn that they have to save up to buy something they really want. Don't let them get into the habit of running to you every time they need more money.
- Children love stories from their parents’ experiences. Talk to them about when and how you started saving, whether it was wisely invested and how it grew and anymistakes you might have learned from the experience.
- Explain how interest works. When you put money in a savings account, these savings earn more money at the end of the year.
- Give children a piggy bank to help them save or better still, bring them down to the local credit union to open a savings account.