Jun 28, 2022

Teaching Your Teen About Finances

Money and finances shouldn’t be in a taboo topic in today’s age, especially when it comes to your discussing it with your children. Having an open and honest conversation about personal finance can help your teen build a foundation of success with growing confidence and knowledge on the topic. Talking to your teen can allow them to have a realistic expectation of the real world, as well as learn from your past mistakes. Here are five ways to help kickstart teaching your teenager about finances:

1. Give them the tools to succeed

It’s estimated that 1 in 5 teens lacks a basic foundation to build on for financial literacy. This can mean that anywhere from 22% of teens do not have the background to do basic things such as build a beginner budget.

In order to offset this statistic, and many other frightening financial literacy statistics for teens, it’s imperative to give them the tools they need to succeed. These tools can often be found in the palm of their hands. There are many financial literacy apps that are designed to help grow your knowledge about money. Some of the apps listed included topics that range from budgeting allowances or job earnings, education lessons, audio lessons, games, and more.

2. Detail the cost of college and other expenses

Is your teen working toward getting into their dream school? Or perhaps needing a vehicle that accompanies their new driver’s license? Take these opportunities to list out expenses that are typically very costly and often require payments. Having your child see how much goes into paying for these types of expenses will better help them grasp the importance of the dollar, budgeting, and long-term goals. Use these types of situations as a learning opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants, save for big expenses, apply for FAFSA, and shop around for low rates on personal loans that can ease the stress of major purchases.

3. The importance of building and maintaining credit

Another important topic is the importance of building and maintaining good credit. By helping your young adult establish their credit history early, they can then access better rates on auto insurance, renting experiences, and various other types of loans.

Set your children up for success early by adding them as an authorized user on your credit card. Authorized user status allows your child to benefit from your good credit history. While it doesn’t have the same credit-building power as a primary user, it’s a great way to start their credit history foundation. Know other signs that show your young adult is credit ready.

4. Implement simple, effective habits

It’s crucial to implement good money habits that include paying bills on time, borrowing the right amount of money, understanding the rate of borrowing, saving, and how accruing late fees can affect their financial journey. Setting good foundational money habits allows your young adult to establish their foreseeable future when it comes to finances.

5. It’s OK to make money mistakes and to learn from others

While we always want the best for our children, it’s important to note that making money mistakes happens from time to time. Children can learn a lot by experiencing the mistakes and avoiding them. Find opportunities that can open the conversation to money management, financial literacy, and ways to improve. Review certain topics together such as debt consolidation, current economic status, or even ways to increase their income. Having real and honest conversations allows for growth and understanding from both parties!

Have more questions or curious on ways to get started helping your young adult on their financial journey? Talk to an Eastex specialist to help guide your family on best practices for financial literacy.

Jun 14, 2022

10 Summer Travel Tips

  1. Create a travel budget

Creating a travel budget can help you visualize and take accountability in your spending while you’re away. Oftentimes, we have a vacation-mode mindset when it comes to spending, but keeping to your travel budget will help you better bounce back when you return. To create a travel budget, start by adding up expenses you will need on your vacation such as lodging, transportation, food, activities and amenities. Make a list of all the places you plan to see and budget for how much that day will cost. Preparing for your trip beforehand can help adjust your budget where needed.

  1. Carry cash for tips

After making your travel budget, make note of the importance to bring cash for tips when you use a transportation, luggage, or bell service. A good tip is to diversify your cash and avoid stashing it all in one place. In the event a bag or luggage gets lost or stolen, it’s a good practice to have other accessible cash elsewhere. Similarly, it’s best to keep small bills handy when using as tips. Consider trimming your wallet of excess items, such as a library card. Leave unnecessary items such as those at home while you travel!

  1. ATM skimmer awareness

When traveling (and while home) it’s always best to check out ATMs, fuel pumps, and other point-of-sale card inserts to ensure that they haven’t been tampered with. Skimming occurs when legal devices such as these have been tampered with and can access your banking data and then steal from victim’s accounts. It’s estimated that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year. Avoid becoming a victim of these scams by recognizing the signs of tampering.

  1. Caution using public WIFI

Similar in recognizing the signs of ATM tampering, it’s also important to beware of the hidden dangers within the use of public WIFI. There are many risks that accompany using a public WIFI from places such as a coffee shop, airport, or hotel. These risks can include unencrypted networks, malware distribution, and malicious hotspots which ultimately aim to steal your private information, including banking information. Check out these best practices on protecting yourself against the dangers lurking behind public WIFI.

  1. Opt for travel insurance

Travel insurance can cover anything from medical expenses, theft of belongings, or even cancellation of trips. Opting for travel insurance ensures that you are covered if an unfortunate event occurs. Consider different types of coverage for your specific needs.

  1. Make your luggage stand out

Using luggage tags that will stand out to you make it easier to identify your luggage in an airport or hotel. Consider using a neon or brightly colored luggage tag, ribbon, or other form of identification on your luggage. Get creative by using a scarf, stickers, or washi tape to help your luggage stand out!

  1. Keep passports and important info on your carryon

Another good practice while traveling is to keep your passport and another important document information on your carryon. By always keeping this information with you, you can better access your documents at a moment’s notice and ensure they don’t get lost during the trip.

  1. Put a hold on mail and other services

Consider putting your U.S. Postal mail on hold for the duration of your travel. You can arrange this hold for up to 30 days by phone, filling out a form at the post office, or visiting the U.S Postal Office website. Similarly, consider requesting holds for newspapers, magazines, or other subscription services that get sent via mail.

  1. Copy important documents and make a list of important numbers

Before leaving on your trip, make a copy of all your important documents, such as passports, credit cards, and driver’s licenses. Leave one copy with a relative or trusted friend in the event an important document gets lost. You can also keep a copy on you to reference, if needed. Write down important phone numbers or contact information that you may not know by memory. If you need to reach someone, you will have the information handy. It’s also a good practice to let someone know your exact travel itinerary.

  1. Set up account alerts

If you’re planning to travel this season, call Eastex Credit Union and let us know of your travel plans! This will ensure that any card transactions made from a different location won’t trigger potential identify theft or fraudulent activity issues. We can also monitor those transactions that were made from a different area were likely authorized by you. This can ultimately prevent a hold being placed on your card, preventing you from using it in your traveled to location. Contact us today with any questions you may have about traveling this summer at (409) 276-2525!

May 24, 2022

15 Frugal Things To Do This Summer

Looking for some fun, free, or inexpensive things to do this summer with family? Check out this list of 15 frugal ways to make the most out of this season with family!

  1. Free pool playdates

Take advantage of your neighborhood pool and set up a swim date with a neighbor or guest. Soak up some sun while

  1. Run Through Sprinklers

No backyard or neighborhood pool? No problem! Break out some sprinklers for some good old-fashioned summer fun. Cool down in the summer heat by letting loose in some simple yard sprinklers.

  1. Have a Water Balloon Fight

Water balloon fights are synonymous with summertime. Don’t miss out on this fun activity by purchasing inexpensive water balloons

  1. Roast ‘Smores

Host a fun backyard get together with minimal spending on smore’s treats. Make it a summer night to remember by star-gazing and story swapping!

  1. Thank a First Responder

Visit your local fire station to thank a first responder for their hard work and dedication to your community. Have your children write their own thank you cards and what it means to them to be a hero. While bringing the first responders a treat is not necessary, they will certainly appreciate a “sweet” gesture! Check out this simple 3 ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that are sure to make them smile!

  1. Tie Dye Shirts

Create something unique this summer when you try a homemade tie dye shirt. With simple ingredients such as Kool-Aid packets, distilled white vinegar, and rubber bands, you’re sure to stand out from a crowd with a vibrant shirt. Try this summer fun shirt!

  1. Have a Picnic at a Park

Pack up your lunch and head to your park when you have a picnic at the park! Invite neighbors or stick with family and enjoy your food al fresco!

  1. Visit a Local Farmer’s Market

Shop and support local when you visit your local farmer’s market! You can try new products and get your weekly grocery shopping done all while getting some fresh air.

  1. Go Hiking

Explore new trails and paths when you take a hike this summer. Having fun while exercising is sure to make you feel accomplished this summer. Enjoy scenic views in the evening time when it’s not so hot. Take pictures to cherish the memories!

  1. Have a Garage Sell

Have some fun and make some money when you sell your unused and unwanted items this season. You will feel much less cluttered and much more accomplished when you rid your house of excess items. Have the kids join in on the fun by having them sell their unwanted items or even by selling lemonade during the garage sell.

  1. Take an Evening Bike Ride

Enjoy a summer evening by taking a neighborhood bike ride. Because it’s not so hot during the evening, you might enjoy this activity so much that it becomes part of your weekly routine!

  1. Play a Board Game

Take a break from the outdoors when you play a board game in the cool air conditioning! Choose your favorite classic board game and enjoy family time!

  1. Learn a New Skill

Challenge yourself this summer to complete something you’ve been wanting to learn. Learn to play an instrument, knit, or speak a new language this summer!

  1. Read a Book

Visit your local library to check out books, attend book readings, and join classes to keep learning this summer! Consider listening to audiobooks and eBooks in addition to paperbacks.

  1. Cook Something New

Have a recipe you’ve been wanting to try but haven’t had the time? Make some time this summer to commit to trying out a new recipe. Fire up the grill for this season’s favorites.

For those a little more than frugal purchases, visit Eastex to help you on your way. We offer low rate credit cards and personal loans for any of your summer needs! Contact us today!

Apr 26, 2022

You’ve probably heard of the importance of saving for a “rainy day,” but you might be wondering how much you should save and where to store your funds. Setting aside any amount of money for emergency or unexpected expenses is always a good idea. Having a fund separate from your emergency fund can ensure that when the unexpected happens, you’ve got peace of mind.

How Much Money to Keep in a Rainy-Day Fund

While the right amount of money varies from person to person, experts suggest saving $1,000 as a starting point. $1,000 can help cover unexpected expenses such broken car parts, malfunctioning home appliances, and urgent care visits and medication prescriptions. Having extra cash on hand allows you to cover unforeseen expenses.

Always try to replenish the money that’s taken out of the rainy-day fund as soon as you can. This replenishing cycle allows you to always be one step ahead of most “rainy days” that may come your way!

Rainy-Day Funds vs. Emergency Funds

A rainy-day fund should be separate from an emergency fund. An emergency fund typically includes 3-6 months living expenses (mortgage, bills, groceries), and covers extended financial stress during major life changes. Since emergency funds are typically a much larger percentage of savings, they can be held in a money market account or a CD (certificate deposit) to earn interest while it’s not being used.

Where to Store a Rainy-Day Fund

Your rainy-day fund should be fluid, and therefore, easily accessible when needed at a moment’s notice. These funds can be kept as cash on hand or set aside in a simple savings account. Keeping these funds within arms reach allows you easily obtain the money for emergency expenses. An Eastex Savings Account can store your savings for when you need them most!

Automate Your Savings

If you’re wanting to build your rainy-day fund, try automating your savings. For just a few dollars a paycheck, you can reach your goal faster without all the hassle. Challenge yourself to save in little ways that can help you reach your goal of saving for a rainy-day fund!

An Eastex Credit Card for When Your Rainy-Day Fund Runs Dry

When your rainy-day turns into a rainy week or month, Eastex Credit Union has got you covered. Our Visa Credit Card gives you the ultimate peace of mind to cover a wide range of unexpected expenses for whatever comes your way. Apply for a Visa Credit Card today to have on hand in the event you ever need it! Being prepared for the unexpected with multiple sources of funds that includes cash on hand, cash in an Eastex Savings and an Eastex Visa Credit Card will allow you to stay one step ahead of some inevitable rainy-days!

Apr 12, 2022

What is a Cash-Back App?

A cash-back app is an app that gives you a rebate on a purchase or provides a coupon for an additional discount on a purchase. These rewards or rebates can be used on items such as gas, groceries, clothing, and other items you’re already buying! There are some apps that can offer points which can be redeemed on a future or subsequent purchase. Using a cash-back app allows your money to go further. Check out these apps that will help you stretch your dollar and get the most out of your purchase:

Ibotta

Ibotta works by letting its customers earn cash-back in stores as well as online. After downloading the app and creating an account, the app can find where you’re shopping and search for cash-back offers for that establishment. After checkout, you can claim your cash-back rewards by taking a picture of your receipt and/or scanning the item’s barcodes. From there, once your earnings reach $20, you can “cash out” via Paypal, Venmo, or other retailer gift cards such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart.

Checkout 51

Checkout 51 allows you to earn cash back on groceries and gas. Every Thursday, there are new savings opportunities. Simply add your favorite offers to your list (or items you already plan on buying,) tap redeem, and upload a picture of your receipt. Upon approval, Checkout 51 credits your accounts with Cash Back and is eligible to redeem for cash out at $20.

MyPoints

MyPoints has a wider range of retailers for you to earn points from such as Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Amazon. They also offer coupons, promotional codes for websites, and the latest sales and deal events. Earn one point for every dollar you spend and redeem your points for gift cards.

Plus, MyPoints lets you earn cash for taking surveys.

Shopkick

Unlike the other cash-back apps listed, Shopkick is unique in that you can scan items within the store – and without purchasing – and still earn rewards, or kicks. Earn more points with purchasing items on the app or simply scan and go. Redeem a $2 gift card for every 500 points scanned.

Bonus Tips When Using Cash-Back Apps

  1. Always read the offer’s fine print. Some apps do not offer cash-back on generic store versions. It’s a good rule of thumb to double check the brand name and quantity amount specified for the offer.
  2. Run the numbers. If there is a cheaper or more cost-effective alternative to the item you’re buying, consider skipping that offer.
  3. Remember why you’re looking to pocket more cash and don’t buy unnecessary items just earn the cash-back.

Looking for more ways to fuel your savvy spending? Visit this link for a list of 27 apps that can help maximize your dollar. Similarly, find out how you can maximize your credit card perks through Eastex Credit Union! Earn points with each purchase to redeem on gift cards when you use an Eastex Visa credit card through the uChoose Rewards Program. Make your dollar go further! Visit our website to apply or call us today at (409) 276-2525.

Mar 29, 2022

In today’s digital world, it’s a good idea to follow content that will help you with your personal finance growth. With so many resources at the convenience of smart phones, it’s helpful to know what’s available regarding your personal finance advocacy, debt payoff progress, and investing questions. Check out these finance accounts for all things money content:

  1. You Need a Budget (YNAB), @YouNeedABudget

Follow on Instagram and Facebook

YNAB offers content that help to keep your budget balanced and realistic. YNAB bases their budgeting philosophy from 4 rules:

  • Give every dollar a job
  • Embrace your true expenses
  • Roll with the punches
  • Age your money
  1. Rachel Cruze, @RachelCruze

Follow on Instagram and Facebook

#1 New York Times best-selling author and host of the Rachel Cruze Show, Rachel aims to help individuals avoid debt at all costs. Much like her father – Dave Ramsey’s – ideologies regarding preventing and paying off any current debt, Rachel urges people to live within their means. Rachel also emphasizes the need to create and stick to a budget, have an emergency fund established, and avoid using credit cards.

  1. Millennial Investing

Visit MillennialInvesting.com

Love podcasts? Check out this podcast from Millennial Investing that’s hosted by Robert Leonard and Clay Finck. Their podcast covers investing basics, investment, and financial advice geared to help millennials begin their investing journey. Leonard and Finck explore investing topics such as stock investing, cryptocurrency, options trading, and more!

  1. Side Hustle Show

Visit SideHustleNation.com

Here’s another podcast that focuses on the importance and impact of a side hustle, or side job, in which extra income greatly impacts your financial journey. Tune in to multiple guests on the show that explain ways in which their side hustle has helped them “quit the rat-race” and traditional 9-5 job and begin earning passive income in other impactful ways.

  1. Odd Lots

Visit Bloomberg’s Odd Lots website

It’s always a good idea to keep up with current events that affect the state of the global economy. Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast hosts, Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway, discuss current news and happenings around the globe. Stay up to date with real time news and join the discussion on trends, stocks, tech, economic states, and currency.

Join in on the conversation! Follow Eastex Credit Union on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest finance article shares, tips on improving financial health, and current events in the area. Have more questions about paying off debt, investing, or all things finance? Contact our team to get answers to all your financial questions at (409) 276-2525 or visit us at EastexCU.org!

Mar 15, 2022

Choosing between renting a property or purchasing your own home is a big decision that requires a close look at the pros and cons of both options. Each route is a major decision that affects your lifestyle and current financial situations. There are several differences between the two that you should consider when deciding which is best for you:

Renting Pros:

  • You are free to move around whenever your lease is up. Typical leases are about a year, but oftentimes landlords can do month-to-month depending on your circumstance.
  • Repairs needed on the home typically fall on the homeowner, rather than the renter. Of course, some rental stipulations include covering a portion of the bill (for instance, if the water heater breaks) but overall do not require the renter to foot the entire bill.
  • Relocating is easier to do when you are renting. There is more flexibility and freedom to move and choices when you are not tied down to a mortgage if you need to relocate.

Renting Cons:

  • It’s typical for price to increase year to year while you rent. Because your landlord can increase the rent at any time,
  • The landlord could sell the property at any given moment. Even though most reputable landlords will give ample notice before selling their property, it’s always a possibility that you could be left with trying to find a new place to live in.
  • Since the rental property is not your asset, rather the homeowner’s asset, you cannot build equity within the property. Similarly, your monthly rental payments allows the homeowner to continue building their equity.
  • Oftentimes, there is a “no pets” rule for rental properties. While you can always try talking to the landlord about exceptions, sometimes this rule is strictly enforced.

Owning Pros:

  • Pride of ownership in your property goes a long way with a feeling of settlement and stability. There is also freedom in homeownership – renovating the property as you wish and no longer worrying about any “no pets” rules.
  • Buying a house can be a sensible investment – you always have the option to lease out the property or even lease individual rooms.
  • With being the homeowner, you have more privacy in your property and full control over decision making.
  • You can benefit from tax breaks by deducting your mortgage interest payments.

Owning Cons:

  • Since you are the owner, you are fully responsible for any repairs, damages, and upkeep and maintenance for the property.
  • Property taxes can (and typically do) increase each year.
  • While owning a property is an asset, it’s not a liquid asset so selling your property and accessing your funds may take longer than expected.

 

It’s important to choose the route that best suites your needs and to look at the pros and cons of each. If you decide that it is feel free to contact Eastex Credit Union for all your lending needs. Our team of mortgage professionals are ready to help you with any questions you may have!

Feb 28, 2022

A good credit score can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. Improving your credit score can get you approved for better rates on mortgage, auto loans, and just about anything that needs financing! Here are some ways you can work on improving your score to begin your savings:

Check your credit report and dispute any errors

Checking your credit report is important to see where you stand financially. Viewing your credit score on your report shows lenders and creditors how well you borrow.

It’s important to review and identify any disputes, if applicable. A mistake on your credit report could be what’s keeping your score low. Mistakes on your report can consist of payments marked late when you have paid on time, inaccurate information, another person’s credit activity mixed with yours, or other discrepancies. You can access your free report at AnnualCreditReport.com from each of the three major credit bureaus. For ways to help dispute your report, check out this article.

Make payments on time

Your payment history is a key factor in determining your credit score. Paying on time and early helps to keep your score higher, as any negative occurrences on your payment history will affect the score. Many of the credit bureaus, including FICO and VantageScore, view payment history as the most influential factor in determining a person’s credit score. Your payments should be made on time (or early) to ensure no late fees incur. Consider setting payment alerts in a virtual planner or calendar to remind you. Consistently making on-time payments can raise your score in a matter of months.

Keep credit utilization low

One of the best ways to help your credit score is to properly use your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of revolving credit you’re currently using divided by the total amount of credit you have available. It’s best to use 30% or less of your credit utilization to keep your credit score high. For example, a $10,000 credit limit means using no more than $3,000 of your total revolving credit. A low credit utilization rate shows you are using less than your available credit, which reflects a good job of managing your credit and not overspending.

Diversify your credit mix

Your credit mix consists of different credit accounts that you have which can include auto, mortgage, student loans, and credit cards. Having various open accounts counts for 10% of your credit score. For lenders and creditors who see that you have a diverse credit mix, this shows that you’re able to manage different types of credit accounts responsibly over a course of time.

Don’t close accounts

If you have paid off an account, it’s important to leave the account open otherwise it could negatively impact your credit score. It’s best to keep unused credit accounts open – like a department store card – to show lenders a longer average credit history. This will ultimately benefit you with a larger amount of available credit, if ever needed.

Not sure where to start? Talk to one of our loan officers today! As certified credit counselors, we can recommend ways to improve your credit and also offer best practices for money managing! Call us today at (409) 276-2525.

Feb 21, 2022

As styles change, the décor within our homes do as well. Smaller projects, such as a new wall color or replacing outdated door handles can often give our homes a refreshing, updated look. These tasks help us feel accomplished in the ever-continuous modernizing of our homes.

Bigger projects however, such as new flooring, bathroom remodeling, a new roof, or new window installations can quickly become expensive. Oftentimes, these expenses eat at our personal budgets and take a toll on our savings accounts. An easy way to tackle projects without draining your cash is to use the equity in your home. There are two ways to access your equity and make the most out of your home update/remodel:

  1. Take advantage of great rates and refinance your home loan through Eastex Credit Union. Aside from benefits like potential lower monthly payments, you will have the ability to cash out your equity and to use toward your home remodeling needs. The renovations and remodeling can, in turn, increase the overall value of your home.
  2. Consider a home equity loan if refinancing is not the option for you by borrowing against your home’s equity. A major advantage is that the rates you see on home equity loans are oftentimes significantly lower than other types of personal loans and credit cards. According to Bankrate, “As of late June 2021, home equity loans have an average rate of 5.36%, while credit cards have an average rate of 16.09% and personal loans have an average rate of 10.49 percent.”1

Unsure of where to start? Here a few tips and tricks to get the process started:

Identify your home maintenance needs

Decide what projects are of the utmost priority and make a list. See if there is anything that needs dire attention and put those on top of the to-do list. These are usually the items homeowners tackle first during the renovation process, such as a structural integrity. If there are no immediate safety concerns, decide what project you would like to see most accomplished. From there, continue to list the other items that need renovating in your home.

Make a budget

After deciding on what major areas to focus on and renovate, establish how much equity you currently have in your home to give you an idea of what tasks can be accomplished. After estimating how much equity you have, begin to gather a few quotes from contractors for projects that need to be done and total the projected costs. This will give you a feel for how much the total expenses are going to cost.

Talk to one of our Mortgage Loan Officers

Eastex’s Mortgage Loan Officers can help assist you at any point in the process. Through assessing the value of your home and verifying personal details (such as credit score and financial standing), we can help assist with predicting the equity amount you will be approved for, allowing you to get started on home improvements right away. A lump sum of cash at a fixed rate that you’ve built towards will ultimately help you achieve your home maintenance needs and goals. Our experts can also determine what type of loan you will best benefit from.

Begin your renovation process

Now that you have an idea of the spending amounts for projects that need to be done and have accessed your equity, you can start the process of improvements! Benefits to remodeling or updating a home include increased home value if you sell your home in the future. This is especially true if you do plan on listing soon. If you don’t plant to list, you can enjoy the benefits of your home tailored to your preferences upon remodeling.  You can enjoy the peace and comfort of a freshly updated home.

Whatever your home renovation needs entail, Eastex is here to make that happen! We provide expertise in assisting your transformative home needs through various loan options and guidance. Take advantage of great rates and access your funds today!

Jan 20, 2022

Whether you have children ranging from a toddler to a teenager, it’s always a good idea to begin preparing their financial journey through training and education. Here are 6 ways you can start their financial journey to implement good money habits:

Create an opportunity to earn money

Giving your child an allowance for accomplishing household chores such as cleaning their room, doing laundry, or washing dishes allows a real-world scenario of work and compensation to play out. To better prepare them for the future, you can show them that by doing jobs around the house, they can then earn money. Allowing your children to handle money at early age will equip them for spending, saving, and banking decisions. Watch your child become excited and eager to help around the house to potentially earn money.

Check out this list that includes an average weekly allowance amounts by age.

Have them set a goal

Perhaps the best way to learn about saving and spending is to implement real-world scenarios. If there is something your child has been asking for, such as a new toy or pair of shoes, encourage them to begin saving for it. Have them track their savings goal with free printable savings trackers. By saving for a desired item, your child will see the importance of a dollar with every saving. Similarly, they will feel that much more accomplished when they are able to purchase the item with their own savings!

Read about it

Use literature resources to begin making the subject of money a more comfortable conversation to have with your child. Check out this list of money topic books that range from kindergarten levels to high school levels. These age-appropriate books can help equip your child with money-management lessons. Consider visiting your local library and using it as a lesson for your children that renting books ultimately saves money versus buying them.

Model good financial behavior

To prepare your child in developing good financial decisions, it’s important to model behavior that includes good spending and saving habits. Practicing making smart choices regarding spending and saving requires consistency and grace. Modeling good behavior can be as simple as expressing gratitude for the things you have, rather than complaining about lack of material items.

See areas in your financial life where you can implement good financial behavior such as giving. Teaching this value to your child an early age will instill a sense of pride and self-esteem and will ultimately become character traits that continue to grow with them.

Talk to your children about finances and involve them in decisions

Consider opening the door of conversation about finances to your children. While we don’t want to burden them with financial obligations, you can have an open conversation that sets the foundation for real-world scenarios. Let them weigh in on decisions, such as things to do on a vacation. Have them set a budget and see where you align with the budget. Another way to implement this is to allow them to help shop for your family groceries. Have them list the groceries needed, how much they think they cost, and how much you plan to spend. Go over the receipt of items purchased and show how they aligned with their guesses. By allowing them to take part in financial transactions, their financial foundation for their own decisions will begin to take place.

Set up a college fund

One of the best ways to prepare your child for the future is to plan for it. Setting up a college fund for your child allows them to begin a new chapter of their lives without the burden of school loan debt. College expenses quickly add up, so allowing yourself to save for it now helps for the future. In fact, according to Education Data, “The average in-state student attending a public 4-year institution spends $25,615 for one academic year.” If college is not the route your child takes, those funds can be used for trade school needs, living expenses, or kickstarting a business.

Call or visit Eastex Credit Union to discuss automatic transferring a portion from your paychecks to begin saving for their future.


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