Emergency Funds – Not Just For Adults!

Divvying up your kid’s allowance into different jars, each with a specific label and purpose, has become pretty standard. Your kids probably have one jar for savings, one for spending and maybe another for giving.

What most parents and kids omit, though, is one more jar for emergencies. Yes, emergencies, even for kids. Granted, they won’t be shelling out thousands of dollars for a roof repair or a medical crisis like their parents might, but emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, and to all-sized people.

No one needs convincing that having funds for an unexpected expense is crucial to financial security. In fact, building an emergency fund is the first of Dave Ramsey’s famous seven baby steps for getting out of debt. It’s definitely something you want to build into your kids’ psyche. So why not start now?

Some examples of small and not-so-small emergencies for children are:

  • The pair of new sneakers left in the locker room after PE, now gone forever
  • The shattered car window from an overeager, but poorly aimed, baseball
  • The huge data plan overage charge
  • The misplaced spending money for an afternoon at the mall

So yes, kids have emergencies. Helping them set up a fund to pay for some of these mini-crises instead of bailing them out each time will teach them to be prepared.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Help your kid add an extra jar to their existing set and mark it for emergencies.
  2. Allocate a portion of your kid’s weekly allowance or chore payment to the emergency fund.
  3. With your child, create a goal for the new jar. For a younger child, $25 should be enough, with the number steadily growing to about $100 for preteens.
  4. Once the jar has hit its target, revert back to the original division of money among the other jars.

The next time your child has a financial emergency, have them pay for all or part of it. It’s okay to share the costs for larger emergencies, or even for smaller ones. Your child will still learn responsibility by coughing up some of the funds on their own.

These should be situations due to negligence, irresponsible behavior or simple forgetfulness on the part of your child.

When the fund is depleted for an emergency, be sure to encourage them to replenish it by going back to step two.

Remember; it’s baby steps like these that will prevent your child from having to crawl their way out of debt later on in life.

Your Turn: How do you teach your kids about the importance of planning for emergencies? Share your best tips with us in the comments!

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Meet the Smart Family

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Follow one family’s hilarious journey to becoming MoneySmart

Whether you’re a parent, a baby, a teen or anywhere in-between, BeMoneySmart is the perfect way to learn together, as a family, how to save and spend money wisely. Simply visit BeMoneySmart.org, where you can watch the adventures of the Smart family, a series of short, hilarious videos that your whole family will enjoy.

They’re also educational, but don’t worry… we won’t tell your kids if you don’t. It’s all at BeMoneySmart.org right now!

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Shred Fest 2016

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Who is ready for another year of “Shred Fest”?  That’s right, Shred Fest is here again, which means all members can bring their personal documents and shred them for free!

What can you shred?

  • Old tax returns
  • Junk Mail with personal information
  • dated documents with personal information
  • Dated pay stubs with personal information
  • And any other paper documents you need to get rid of!

Please Do Not Bring:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard
  • Binders

There is a limit of five boxes of paper per member.  Paper clips and staples are okay!

Shred Fest will be held on two days Saturday May 7th and Saturday May 14th 

Day 1: Saturday May 7th

When: 9am-12pm

Where: Riverwoods Branch 188 W. 5200 N. 84604

 

Day 2: Saturday May 14th

When: 9am-12pm

Where: Spanish Fork Branch 810 N. Main 84660

Don’t miss out!  Get your Shred On!

 

 

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Sprint Discount for UCCU Members

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Sprint and UCCU have partnered up to give you the best discount possible!  We are giving our members 10% off their monthly bill, and for businesses 15% off.  There are also more benefits such as: Personal 10% discount Benefits 10% discount … Continue reading

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Best Things to Buy This Fall

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  For many businesses, fall is a slow time between the summer and winter months. As a result, consumers can often find bargain deals if they are looking in the right place. Here are a few items to keep your … Continue reading

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How to Cut Food Costs Without Sacrificing Quality

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One of the easiest ways to save money is being smarter with your food budget. Although easier said than done, being more conscious where, what, and how you buy your food can save a lot of money without sacrificing too … Continue reading

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5 Items to Buy in August

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Although summer may not be the time when you think of big savings, there are plenty of items that retailers are marking down during this time of year. Here are five items to be on the look out for during the … Continue reading

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Raising Money-Savvy Children

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With so many opportunities to go into unnecessary debt, it is important to teach kids at an early age the importance of financial responsibility. The following three tips can create a strong foundation for children before they leave the home … Continue reading

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5 Practical Ways to Lower Your Summer Electric Bill

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With summer in full swing, many consumers expect their electrical bill to rise with the increasing temperatures. Although there are multiple ways to reduce electricity usage, many are expensive and impractical for cost-sensitive families. Here are 5 cost-efficient ways to reduce … Continue reading

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What's Your Financial Wellness IQ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always important to gauge your financial wellness. Financial situations can change very quickly. Understanding how to make adjustments as needed is an important skill to learn. Take this quiz to see where you stand financially and help address any problems shown by the results. The first step toward a financially stable tomorrow is facing the situation today.

Ready to begin? Answer True or False to the following questions, and then tally your score. See scoring beneath the quiz to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for financial counseling.

  1. I normally pay only the minimum amount due on my credit card bills.
  2. My credit card balances increase each month.
  3. There are arguments in my home about money.
  4. I sometimes hide purchases from my spouse.
  5. I frequently charge items that I used to pay for with cash.
  6. I have thought about filing for bankruptcy.
  7. I have begun using cash advances to meet my obligations.
  8. My credit cards are near the limit, so I’ve begun applying for new lines of credit.
  9. I do not know the total amount that I owe.
  10. I skip paying my bills some months, or pay late.
  11. I have depleted my savings.
  12. I am consumed with worries about debt.
  13. My debt interferes with my job and/or home life.
  14. Collectors have begun contacting me.
  15. I have taken money from my retirement account to satisfy debt obligations.
  16. If I lost my job, it would mean an immediate financial crisis in my life.
  17. I use balance transfers.
  18. I have no emergency savings account.
  19. Next month’s bills arrive before I’ve paid this month’s.
  20. I do not open my bills when they arrive, or soon thereafter.
Most people answer “True” to two or three of the above questions. If True was answered more often than three times, you might consider financial counseling. BALANCE offers free and low cost assistance, whether the problem stems from needing more financial education, debt concerns, meeting your mortgage payment, or a host of other personal finance concerns. Discussing it with a certified counselor/3rd party will add insight to help you to resolve the situation.
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