By Angela Williams, Army Flier Staff WriterApril 18, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 19, 2012) -- Many children see parents spend money at the grocery store and get cash at the ATM, but a Family's saving and investing habits may not be so obvious.
This is one of the reasons Mimi Brooks, Army Emergency Relief Officer for Army Community Service, is teaching a class to help parents learn how to pass on good money management skills to their children. The "Raising a Money Smart Kid" class scheduled for April 26 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Bowden Community Center will address all stages of a child's life from coins and counting to saving and investing.
"We find that a lot of adults don't know how to manage their money properly," Brooks said. "But I think if we can get a child raised understanding how to manage money, they'll grow up to be more responsible with their money as adults."
They could possibly avoid getting into too much debt, save for a "rainy day" so they'll have money in an emergency situation or even save for college or retirement, she added.
The class is geared toward parents and even includes a discussion of how to talk to children about money. "Good teaching moments for your child are there at the grocery store," Brooks said. "They could be learning about coupons or going by a list."
Brooks also encourages parents to talk aloud as they make decisions about purchases.
"If you're looking at something you want but you really don't need it, talk aloud and say, 'I really don't need this. It's not in my budget right now so I'm putting it back.' They're learning from watching you," she said.
The information Brooks presents in the class is based on a child's age. She starts with teaching children as young as two how to identify coins. From there, she moves on to discussing the start of an allowance for children ages 5-8. Eventually, this leads to discussions of saving, spending, budgeting and investing.
Other topics that will be addressed during the class include needs and wants, credit cards, goal-setting, taxes and paychecks, she said.
"We're not just earning our money and sticking it in different places," Brooks said. "If we're saving and investing, what are we doing that for? We want to be able to teach our children that there are goals in life and they can actually save for those things whether that be a $60 video game, college or a car.
"We're trying to help parents educate them young so that as they become adults, they'll know how to take care of themselves economically," she added.
The class is free, but attendees are asked to register by April 24. To register for the class, call 255-2341.