Starting this Fall, high school students in Michigan will be required to take a course in personal finance before graduation.
Cornerstone Community Financial Credit Union has been educating student members for decades on financial matters and has advice for parents, guardians and teachers who want to help Michigan students get on the right financial path.
Talk about money openly with the kids in your life
Having candid conversations about money can helps kids feel more comfortable asking questions about financial issues. Set age-appropriate financial goals – a young child can understand saving for a toy, a tween can understand mowing the yard to earn spending money.
Give kids and teens opportunities to put their financial knowledge to work. For example, give them a budget for a meal, loading the amount on to a Visa gift card or letting them use cash. Walk through each step – creating a grocery list, picking out items at the grocery store, using a calculator to add up totals as they shop.
Open a savings account in your child’s name
It’s never too early to start a savings account
for your child. If they’re under 18, a parent/guardian will be joint on the account, so you can help them make good financial decisions.
Have a monthly check-in with your child to review the balance of the account and make plans for the next month on how to add to their savings.
Don’t wait until graduation to open a checking account
Checking accounts can be opened around 13-16 years old, depending on the financial institution. Parents/Guardians are joint on the account to help guide the teen.
CCF’s CORE Rewards Checking accounts
start at 13 years old, which gives students lots of time to learn responsible debit card use and become familiar with how a checking account works.
None of us have all the financial answers, and it’s ok to admit that!
Take any opportunity to learn with your child. For example, if you don’t understand how credit scores work, search for an instructional video on YouTube and watch it with your teen.
Or, check out CCF’s 22 free online financial education classes
, which are less than 10 minutes long, and totally online and interactive.
Giving young people a strong financial foundation can help them avoid making expensive mistakes later in life. CCF offers free online financial courses through Ever-Fi. These courses are open to anyone, not just members, and cover topics like using credit, filing taxes, saving for an emergency, mortgages and much more.
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