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‘Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees’


You’ve heard your parents say it to time and time again as you were growing up—and now it’s time to for you to teach your own children the meaning and importance of this well-known saying. We asked Janet Humphrey, community education specialist at Credit Union West, to help navigate the financial waters. 


Why is it important for parents to teach children the value of money?

Teaching children how to handle money responsibly early can help develop good saving and spending habits that will last their whole lives. Money management skills are not something children will automatically have once they are adults, it needs to be taught. You will always have a financial connection with your child and it starts the moment they are born. That connection will be defined in how you handle money and how you train your children to handle money. 


At what age should parents begin?

Ages 8 to 14 are critical times in the development of children’s financial behavior. During these years, they form habits on saving and spending that can last well into the future.  It is essential that parents are actively involved in helping their children learn about financial matters.


Why is it important for parents to model good financial behavior?

According to a recent Charles Schwab study, 90 percent of high school students rely on their parents for financial guidance, while only 54 percent felt their parents were doing a good job.

Children quietly observe their parent’s financial decisions and how well we manage our money. They often will model our saving and spending habits. As parents, we know we make financial mistakes. But being a good financial role model is imperative in how our kids view money and will shape their future financial habits.


How can learning financial responsibility affect the way someone perceives and handles money as he or she gets older?

By the time children grow up to reach high school or college-age it becomes critical they are taught about money. During these years, they need these skills to successfully navigate the financial realities they will face when they are on their own.



Credit Union West has created youth savings and checking accounts without hidden fees that will grow as your kids grow. MoneyIsland is a free online program that the credit union offers their account holders’ children that engages children to become “financial gurus.” For more information, visit cuwest.org. Federally Insured by NCUA

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