What your children can teach you about saving money.

Teaching your children how to handle money is an important part of parenting. Children learn a lot about money by seeing the way their parents manage the monthly budget. But, what happens when the teacher cannot follow his or her own advice? Sometimes it helps to take a step back and look at what your kids can teach you. You may be surprised to learn some valuable lessons.

Give yourself an allowance.

Experts say that when children are given an allowance, they should split it into three areas – savings, spending money, and charity. Children do not generally have a problem with that, but for some reason, many adults do. Times are tight and you may not always be able to achieve this, but keep this goal in mind. Some months you will be pleasantly surprised that it does work.

Trade with friends.

Whether it involves exchanging peanut butter sandwiches for egg salad or video game cards for baseball cards, children are masters at the art of trading to get what they want. Why not try this with your friends? There are many instances when swapping with friends is much smarter than buying something new. Whether it is clothing or power tools, think about what you have that your friends may be interested in and then suggest a trade.

Do your homework.

You are always telling your children the importance of doing homework, but are you following your own advice? Homework not only reinforces the concepts kids learn in class it teaches the consequences of not being prepared. Adults need to do homework, too. When you are shopping for the right new kitchen appliance, an insurance provider or an investment option, it always pays to study your options first.

Hop on the bus or carpool.

Today, it seems that our children are much more environmentally conscious than we are. They realize and are concerned about the high number of gas guzzling cars on our highways. They are also more likely to take public transportation to school; they often have no other choice. Think about utilizing public transportation or carpooling to work. You will save money, do your part for the environment and may even make new friends.

Though you are the parent, there are many things you can learn from children-including ways to manage money. If you want to teach your kids responsible financial practices, it pays to follow your own good advice. At UCCU we are always happy to share with you ways to help you stretch your dollars farther.

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