Badgett, Herman
Herman Badgett

Union Bank, N.A.

Vice President and Branch Manager

Back to school is a time of fresh starts and opportunities to learn and grow. At home, you can teach your family members to make smart financial choices to help protect the family budget and their financial future.

Following is information about financial planning for families, and is second in a four-part financial planning series.

Make “Saving 101” Family Friendly

Just like adults, kids need a reason to save money. Start teaching them to save by establishing short-term goals for smaller things that allow them to see results quickly. Younger children can save their change for a special toy or snack, while older kids can save an allowance or money earned from doing chores or side jobs to buy something meaningful to them.

Talk to your kids about long-term family goals, such as saving for college or taking a vacation together. Let them be a part of the process and show them how much you will need to save as a family each month. Brainstorm ways to cut back on expenses or bring in extra money to achieve the savings goal.

Show them how to make choices to save money. Instead of renting a movie for family movie night, select a DVD at your local library or instead of eating out, make dinner at home and put the money saved toward your goal.  Show kids how they can help earn money to put toward the goal.  For example, ask them to go through their old clothes and other items that they no longer use and let them help organize a family or neighborhood yard sale.

Create fun ways to track how much money you are saving by creating a chart for the whole family to see.  Each week, have the kids mark on the chart how much closer they have gotten to the family goal.

Take your children to the bank to let them participate in the deposit of your savings.  Let them fill out the deposit slip and use this as an opportunity to teach them about how interest can help your family reach your savings goals.

Stick to a Back to School Budget

From backpacks and school supplies to new clothes and shoes, back to school expenses can add up.  Turn this seasonal need into an opportunity to teach your family about the value of money, and how to budget and shop wisely.

Review past bank statements to get an idea of how much you spent on school supplies, clothing and other items in previous years. Then, together with your children, make a list of all the items you will need and discuss the budget available. Talk to them about ways you might save on purchases by looking for back to school sales, coupons and promotions.

 

Shop with your family and let the kids take an active role in choosing items on the list, while showing them how to compare prices and make wise choices to stay within your budget. Discuss the concept of “needs” versus “wants” and explain that while they may need new shoes, it isn’t necessary to buy the most expensive sneakers on the market. Show them how purchasing a less expensive pair can free up money for other items on the list.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Talking to your family about budgeting and saving is important, and it is also wise to discuss how to protect their identity. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, children are 35 times more likely than adults to be victims of identity theft, with stolen identities and phony lines of credit often undetected until your child applies for a bank account, a driver’s license or a college loan. Talk to your kids about identity theft and show them how to take precautions to ensure sensitive information is protected.

Teach your children to never give out their social security number or other personal information.  If your children have access to laptops or mobile devises, teach them to avoid clicking on pop-up ads, never answer emails from strangers, and avoid filling out online forms in public places where identity thieves may be able to capture the information. Show them how to determine whether a Web site is secure by making sure the URL starts with “https” (the S standing for secure) or to look for the lock icon in the address bar.

 

Preparing your younger family members to become financially responsible adults can be rewarding and fun, and can help them establish a bright financial future.

 

The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about financial planning for families and is not considered financial or tax advice from Union Bank.  Please consult your financial or tax advisor.

 

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.

Herman Badgett is a vice president and branch manager of Union Bank’s Oakland Branch. Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 422 branches in California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, New York and Illinois, as well as two international offices, on June 30, 2013. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. In July 2013, American Banker Magazine and the Reputation Institute ranked Union Bank #1 for reputation among its customers. Visit www.unionbank.com for more information.

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