The Irish League of Credit Unions and its 471 affiliated credit unions are celebrating GR8 Savers Week. The main aim of this initiative is to encourage savings habits among younger children, while educating young people on how to have a smart relationship with money. The recent economic instability in this country has resulted in a continued daily struggle for many families in terms of their personal finances, could those in mortgage arrears are increasing; more and more people are turning to their credit card to make ends meet at the end of the month, hundreds are putting off paying their essentials bills every month and worryingly there has been an increase in those turning to moneylenders to bump up monthly income in the struggle for financial survival according to What’s Left Tracker December 2013 and April 2014. Given how important financial skills are in navigating life, it is vital that we educate younger members of society about the merits of investing in their own futures, by sound financial planning and responsible money management. Commenting during this week’s GR8 Savers Week Kieron Brennan, ILCU CEO said: “There is a new social and financial reality in Ireland - many of us are struggling to manage our finances and we have all learnt a very hard lesson about the value of money and the importance of saving for a rainy day, no matter how small the amount. Our young people are no different and it is incumbent on us all to ensure that our children recognise not only the value of money but also the importance of understanding how saving works. Credit unions in communities around the country want to help local parents to give their children a solid financial education from a young age and we would invite any member of the community to call into their local credit union office to join in the fun and activity.” Top five tips for parents to help children develop smart money habits: o Teach your children how much things cost o Give your child or children some modest pocket money and help them manage this money by putting some away in savings o Explain to your children that they need to make choices about how to spend their pocket money o Show that sometimes you have to wait to get something you want - and save hard for it o Let them join in on the savings experience - bring your child to your local credit union to open a savings account and allow them to lodge part of their pocket money every month themselves.
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