Money is a significant component in many facets of America’s family life. So why is financial education often treated as a individual venture?
A majority of today’s teens and young adults learn money management from their parents, but the experience varies by family and all too often, it’s the blind leading the blind. According to Kayla Allen and Victoria Kinchen of Southeastern Louisiana University, 65% of students surveyed say their parents were their financial teachers, yet 28% report saving no money monthly, 72% don’t check their credit score, and 75% haven’t designated a budget.
The results beg the question- are the financial sins of the fathers (and mothers) being passed on, or is the quality of the financial education most youths receive from their parents just a little lacking?
And it’s not just parent/child relationships where weak financial know-how can have lasting implications. As an MSNBC TODAY article advises, money troubles between couples is a leading cause for divorce.
So what’s the answer to these money related woes for families? “Be a team,” suggests David Bach, author of Finish Rich for Couples. Bach also advises setting up a specific time to talk about money issues together. Credit unions can facilitate these efforts by creating campaigns that target not just individual members but encourage their children, friends, and other family members to join in and learn together.
Florida Commerce Credit Union ($324M, Tallahassee, FL) started its weLiveFIT contest so families could tackle financial literacy education as a team and create a financial skill set they can then pass on to future generations.
Contestants in last year’s competition increased their combined credit scores by 469 points, their savings by more than $72,000, and reduced their debt by nearly $45,000!