It’s every child’s favorite fantastical time of year! With so many stores to shop at in Hawaii, it’s a wonderland dream come true. Why not take the opportunity to magically turn holiday shopping into a fun lesson on money management?
Every parent knows that kids are quick learners, and even preschoolers can grasp a basic understanding of money. Begin shaping their feelings, thinking and values about money at an early age. It’s not as difficult as it may seem.
#1 – Make Saving a Habit
They learn about spending money all too soon, so take them to your financial institution and teach them that money is for saving, too. Open a savings account for them talk to them about putting money away for the things they want. Start with short-term goals such as small purchases for the younger kids and guide older ones toward longer-term, larger goals. This teaches them about:
- Delaying gratification;
- Setting short- or long-term goals;
- Planning for the future; and
- Building security and independence.
#2 – Create Opportunities to Earn Money
A healthy respect for money is gained when kids learn they must for it before they can spend it. Although kids should perform certain chores at home as part of their normal responsibilities as a family member, you can create special tasks in exchange for a weekly allowance. This “salary” can be deposited into their savings accounts bi-weekly or monthly. This teaches them about:
- Growing their savings;
- Using compound interest; and
- Valuing their hard-earned money.
#3 – Instill Smart Decision-Making
Saving isn’t always about stashing away money to buy things they want. There will come a time to save for things they need or will have to pay others to do for them. There will also come a time for giving, so discuss what causes they may want to support. Have them put their allowance into three jars for saving, spending and donating. This teaches them about:
- Budgeting their money;
- Making good decisions;
- Deciding on donations; and
- Preparing for adult choices.
Kids are always watching us and repeating what we say. Many times, they can even do funny but very accurate impersonations of us! Why not use this to your advantage? Remember that your kids will learn faster and best if you model good money habits yourself.
Saving for a “rainy day” is good advice, but building an emergency fund seems an impossible task if your paycheck just doesn’t stretch beyond monthly expenses. Then the pandemic hit and we all experienced how important an emergency fund really is. Now that Hawaii is heading into a new normal, it’s the perfect time to hit the reset button on our personal finances. Hawaii Federal Credit Union offers these tips to help you get started.
Build an emergency fund – Financial advisors recommend setting aside an amount equal to three to six months of your living expenses. The higher interest paid on Hawaii FCU’s Preferred Management (Money Market) Account or Certificate Account can help you reach your savings goal faster.
Save for retirement – It’s never too early to start an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Saving even a little bit over a long period of time will put compound interest to work for you. With the average monthly Social Security benefit payment currently at $1,522.70, you can estimate how much cash you’re likely to need in retirement with inflation added.
Manage your debt wisely – Pay down high-interest credit card balances. Refinance auto, home or home equity loans. Utilize a low-interest bill consolidation loan. Check out our Home Equity Line of Credit or Personal Loan and save with low-interest loan rates and affordable monthly payments.
Overhaul your fixed expenses – Housing costs, utilities, food, insurance and property tax are all necessary expenses, but there are still ways to save. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. Comparison shop when you buy insurance. Consider all the ways you can put your money to better use.
Control discretionary spending – Pay closer attention to how much you spend on clothing, entertainment, dining out, recreation and elective shopping. It’s okay to reward yourself every now and then, but remember that unnecessary spending today pushes your future dreams further down the road.
Plan out short and long-term goals – From a family vacation or new car to college tuition or your dream boat, set aside some money from every paycheck in separate savings accounts and resist the urge to “borrow” from these funds for other reasons. Set your goals and don’t stop until you reach them!
Hit the reset button on your finances and get going! And if you need assistance, our financial counselors are ready to assist you. Call us at 847-1371 to schedule an appointment.
Workshops are held at Hawaii Federal Credit Union from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Doors open at 9:00 am. If you are interested in attending any of the upcoming workshops or would like to schedule a one-on-one session with one of our certified financial counselors, please call us at (808) 441-4285.
At this time, all workshops have been postponed until further notice. Please check back later. Thank you.