By Mayra Barrios
(bw) Stockton, CA — A Community Credit Union in partnership with Junior Achievement held its 2nd annual free Financial Camp for 3rd-5th grades on Tuesday, September 27th.
Through interactive activities kids learned the importance of earning, spending, sharing and saving money.
“Teaching kids financial responsibility is not just important is vital,” says Starla Houston, Lending Manger at the Credit Union who facilitated instruction at one of the workshops.
Houston explains that kids who learn effective money skills are more likely to become adults who can make the right financial decisions, avoid excessive debt and reach their financial goals.
She encourages parents to give their children allowances as a form of saving and setting financial goals, “They should be given little chores and a quarter here a quarter there.”
“If a child is told, do you want to go to the movies or you want to save your money? They are normally going to choose the movies,” says Houston, “but if they are saving their money for something specific like a new bike, it will make them say no”
Simultaneously, at a different level these are the same financial choices, adults have to make every single day.
Houston has also taught workshops on budgeting for first time home buyers, “[many] people that I taught class say, ‘I did not know that why didn’t they offer this information in school!’”
So you may wonder, how young is too young to learn about money?
For Houston the earlier children can work with money and understand that money is a tool they will have a better opportunity to be smart consumers.”
This is important because the economic crisis has impacted whole families including kids says Houston.
“Although they [children] do not understand concepts such as unemployment and foreclosure, they do know that something is happening, they understand that there was not enough money”