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Financial literacy for kids: stop preaching, start inspiring

Media release from Iron Road Ltd

Financial literacy for kids, it's time to stop preaching and start inspiring

Financial literacy for kids in New Zealand is unlikely to improve while most efforts are directed at just telling people to save, particularly when 48* per cent of Kiwis don't have enough, or just enough, money for their everyday needs.

Operations Manager at Westforce Credit Union, Mr Victor Martick, said people beating the financial literacy drum are getting it wrong telling kids to save money – even adults – doesn't go far enough.

"We know from our experience as a credit union, that to achieve behaviour change we have to put in place the correct structures to facilitate new behaviour and we have to inspire people to want to change.

“The correlation between aspirations and success are well documented – inspire children with how they can achieve their aspirations through good financial management, and you're half way there."

In an effort to make some contribution to changing the money habits of young New Zealanders, Westforce Credit Union recently teamed up with the developers of ‘emagineIF’ – a new platform that helps kids with goal setting, teaches them to save money and also gets the kids to do chores by making it fun.

"emangineIF helps parents teach their children about money. It shows the correlation between work and earning money and the relationship between goal setting, aspirations and savings towards an end result,” he said.

Mr Martick said the credit union's advice to parents who want to teach kids about money is to begin with a dream.

• Establish what your child really desires or dreams of (within reason)

• Document the steps they need to take to achieve that i.e. cost, savings, timelines

• Work out with them how they can earn the money through chores and establish clear rules around the remuneration e.g. what chores are paid for and what chores are expectations. Parents may decide that making the bed is an expectation, but mowing the lawn earns money

• Coach, monitor and encourage the child's progress

• Make sure the child achieves their goal because successful goal achievement builds confidence

While the emagineIF platform has been designed to facilitate just such a process, at no cost, parents could also teach kids about money with just a pen and paper.

“Good financial literacy for kids is easier than some might think with the right tools and right support. emagineIF helps children learn about where money comes from, and how to save money. The whole family can be involved in the process.

“The first step begins with registering for this free service,” he said.

*The Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) 2010 New Zealand General Social Survey – carried out from April 2010 to March 2011 – showed 48 per cent of Kiwis reported they had "not enough," or "just enough" money to meet their everyday needs.

Ends/…

About Westforce Credit Union

westforce™ Credit Union is not a registered bank but a locally owned and operated FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDER that offers financial services to its MEMBER/OWNERS with offices situated in West Auckland, South Auckland and Whangarei.

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