K-State Research and Extension News
February 18, 2010
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Tips for Parents: Begin Teaching Money Management Early

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The earlier financial education begins, the better the outcome, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation spokesperson said.

Children are in stores and retail venues an average of two to three times a week, said Gregory Housel, an FDIC financial educator, who was in Manhattan recently to speak with Kansas State University Research and Extension agents about financial management education.

Housel noted that 4- to 12-year olds spend an estimated $35.6 billion annually. That's about four times the amount youth spent (annually) a decade ago. 

Still, parents are more likely to teach a child how to do his or her laundry rather than how to balance a checkbook or use a credit card, said Housel, who recommended financial education from K-12, rather than waiting until middle or high school. By the time youth reach high school, behavior patterns are typically formed, he said. Although, he notes, that high school, while not an ideal time to start financial education, is still not too late to teach good financial habits.

Students prefer to learn through technology, games, competition and rewards, rather than lectures or worksheets, said Housel, who also recommends a combination of in-school and out-of-school financial education.

Helping a child learn money management skills can help to ease financial burdens for parents. And, according to research conducted by the Department of the Treasury, Housel said individuals who have had a personal finance education course have a higher savings rate, higher net worth and make larger contributions to their 401K.

More information about Housel's presentation and teaching children about money is available at county and district K-State Research and Extension offices and, online, at: www.ksre.ksu.edu/financialmanagement/.



Box: Do Homework to Save

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- People who take the time to research larger purchases and comparison shop for the best price often can save 20 percent -- or more -- on purchases. 


                                    Source: Gregory Housel, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
K-State Research & Extension News

Carol Young is at cyoung@ksu.edu.