My First Piggy Bank
To kick off financial literacy month, LIFT-Chicago held its first “My First Piggy Bank Event,” for parents and their kids to come together to learn more about a very important topic – financial literacy.
According to a 2015 T. Rowe Price study, over a quarter of surveyed parents said it’s not important to include kids in discussions about family finances and over 40% said they often avoid talking to their kids about money. A child’s future is the most important investment a parent can make, so it’s vital to start the conversation early. The investment pays off: the study also showed that the earlier a child is introduced to financial literacy, the more likely it is that they will grow into happy, financially confident adults.
Tamara Dervin, certified financial educator and owner of Money Basic$, facilitated the workshop. After the loss of her husband, Tamara found herself unexpectedly as a single parent needing to raise her son. Through this experience, she has become an expert on when and how to start talking to your kids about money and savings for their future. This led her to form her company, Money Basic$ in order to share this knowledge about finances. LIFT staff, parent members, and other community members joined together with their kids at Oakwood Shores, a housing community run by The community members, to hear from Tamara.
Tamara shared a wealth of information with the parents. Some of the topics discussed were what to look for when opening a savings account for your child, how to start saving for college, an introduction to the stock market, and best practices for parents to model to their kids about good money handling habits. Tamara emphasized the importance of starting small; even a few dollars a month can be a great place to start. This tied in well with LIFT’s approach of meeting a member where they are and allowing parents to use their expertise to choose what financial goals are most appropriate for their own family. All the parents were incredibly engaged and asked excellent questions. For the kiddos, LIFT provided money-themed coloring sheets and word searches to complete while their parents listened in. Tamara also introduced us to the “Three Jar Model.” The three jars represent three ways that kids can use their money – to save for the future, to share with others who are in need, and to spend on their own needs. To bring this model to life, LIFT had three small jars for each kid along with labels and stickers.
The kids had a blast personalizing their jars and were all very excited to start using this model when they get home. Overall, the event was a hit! One LIFT member in attendance was so enthused, she immediately asked her coach if they would work on opening a savings account for her children during their next meeting! LIFT understands the importance of operating from an intergenerational approach to breaking the cycle of poverty, and takes every opportunity we can to include our members’ children into the education we provide.
This blog post was written by Allie Zindl, a 2019 intern at LIFT-Chicago.
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