Friday, April 15, 2016

Teaching Your Child About Banking and Saving

April is National Youth Credit Union Month, making this is an excellent time to teach your child about personal banking and the importance of savings. This could mean walking a child through their first steps of personal financial awareness or it could mean reiterating the importance of savings habits with teens. Here are some tips to teach your child about banking and savings:

Help Them Practice Safe Money Habits
Teaching kids how to budget at a young age can mean a great deal of difference in their personal financial habits. Encourage younger children to make a list of things they want in the order of how badly they want each item. This way they can learn to prioritize and save. Let them help budget for a grocery trip or an upcoming trip. Modeling excellent financial habits can be the most effective way to teach your kids how to practice safe money habits.

Create a Budget Together
Since your child has now identified what they want to save their money for, create a budget with how much they will have to save each week or month to achieve their goals. Using envelopes or jars to separate allowances or earnings into different categories of savings is a great way for young children to understand budgeting. Have your child draw on each envelope or jar the item that they are saving for. Create long-term and short-term saving containers to help your children understand that some things take longer to save for than others.

Set up a Youth Checking Account.
Setting up a youth checking account helps teens learn financial concepts and gives them the opportunity to practice responsible financial habits in a safe environment. Parents can also view the account, set up limits and restrictions, and monitor account activity. Encourage your child to deposit money from their allowances, birthday, holidays, and part-time jobs. At St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, we will deposit the first five dollars as an added bonus to young savers!

Use Tech-savviness to Their Advantage
It’s a simple fact that teens spend nearly 24/7 on their phones. Teach them to use their phones, tablets, and laptops for financial good. They can benefit greatly from online services such as free direct deposit, mobile banking, e-statements, and more.

Address Privacy and Security
With so many modern features and advantages, remind them to be mindful of financial privacy and security. Teach them the importance of never sharing information pertaining to passwords and financial privacy with others. Reiterate the importance of using privacy measures when shopping and with online transactions to prevent identity theft.

Teaching and reiterating to your children about the importance of safe banking and savings habits can set them up for financial success down the road.

For more information, read Teaching Your Child Money Habits for Life, and talk to a Member Advisor at the St. Cloud Federal Credit Union for more information on youth checking and savings.

Friday, April 8, 2016

We Asked Employees Their Tips and Tricks For Saving Money..... This is What They Have to hare:

Looking for ways to SAVE MONEY??? 

We asked employees their tips and tricks...this is what they have to share:

"I shop at Aldi! The produce is excellent and so cheap! We are staying in our budget, spending less than we ever have at the grocery store, and eating healthier than we ever have before. Win-win-win! I try to avoid going to the store. I use as much as I can of what is already in my cupboard/closets before going out and buying more. Then I buy what is on sale when I need it."

"I shop the clearance aisles. I generally don’t buy clothes unless they’re 50-75% off. A good trick for kids is to buy at the end of the season for the following year. The Children’s Place will have their t-shirts on clearance for $1.99 and then they generally have 25%-30% off coupon plus an additional 5% off for using their store card. This brings the price of a brand new shirt down to less than $1.50! That’s less than what it would cost at a used clothing store."

"I share my kids’ clothes with friends and family. Kids outgrow clothes very quickly and generally they’re in excellent condition. I have a network of people who pass clothing to me and I continue passing clothes along the line. This takes some organization, but it’s amazing how old nuisance clothes can be an amazing help to the other families. This is a HUGE money saver!"

"I use my credit card! I buy most things using my credit card and write each purchase down in my check book register, just like as if I were using my debit card. When the statement comes at the end of the month, I have all of the money sitting in my checking account and pay the bill in full. Once I reach 10,000 points on my credit card, I get a $100 statement credit. That is FREE money! I don’t pay interest on the balance on the credit card and you don’t have to pay taxes on the statement credit. I call it taking advantage of the credit card companies and not letting them take advantage of me! This also lets money sit longer in my checking account accruing interest, so I am making money on both sides of the equation."

"I am a super planner. I plan my bills/shopping/entertainment/groceries out in advance to make sure I am saving as much as I can. I keep what I need in checking and the rest goes to savings—I have specific sub savings to organize my funds for future bills, vacations, and long term. Out of sight, out of mind! When I run out in checking, I try my best to wait until my next paycheck."

"I have another savings elsewhere that comes out the day after I get paid- out of sight, out of mind! I also did our WINcentive account for us and both kids and club savings accounts here.. And one other thing I did was start saving for both my kids when I found out I was pregnant with them and continue to put money in each of their accounts with my payroll checks. This way when we have big expenses- vehicles, insurance, college or whatever- we have funds tucked away. The other thing, it pushes my kids to put money in their savings- what’s not to like about that!"

"My money saving tip is.... Shop at ALDI!! I love that place and it's amazing the price difference there really is between other grocery stores! If you haven't been there... Check it out!"

"Use the Club Savings accounts to save for specific, individual goals or sporadic expenses. It makes it easier to see your progress for each goal. If all your savings is lumped into one savings account, it seems like your balance is high, but you’re actually falling short of your needs for each individual expense."