Teaching Your Kids About Money

The importance of teaching your child about finances

As an adult, finances are apart of daily life, however, most of us were not taught much about this topic in school. Talking money with your children starting at a young age can help them better understand the value of the dollar, how to save and spend responsibly, and can help shape their ability to manage their finances later in life.

How can I teach my children about money?

Allowance is a topic that many agree with and many do not. Regardless, giving your child an allowance based on age appropriate chores and tasks given to them can teach them the value of hard work. If you don’t agree with giving your child an allowance, help your children come up with plans to raise money. For example, help them sell their crafts or pet sit and allow this money to be used as savings.

Once they have a little money saved, explain the differences between wants and needs. Tell them about how if they save their earned money, they can buy the toy they’ve been wanting at the store. On our website we have created a WCU Kid’s Corner page – there you will find an activity book that have a budget tracker perfect for children to track their savings and reach their goal!

We also have a piggy bank craft so your child can create a place to put their saved money. This is also a great way to start the conversation about money, saving, and spending!

Let them handle the money, this will teach them that if they decide to take $2.50 out of their savings to get candy, it will take them longer to reach their savings goal.

Don’t forget to celebrate when they accomplish their goal – make it a big deal because it is a big deal!

Be a good example for your child

As with most things, your child looks to you as an example. It’s important for you to understand your own finances and set goals for your savings and spending too. The more you educate yourself, the better you can teach your children.

Please take a look at our “Kid’s Corner” located on our website for some activities that will help your child learn and tools you can use to help teach your children about money! Teaching your children these things at a young age, in a fun and entertaining way can help them with their future habits and and knowledge of money!

Vacation Savings Tips & Tricks

Summer is coming and we live in a world where we feel pressured to go above and beyond, get ahead, and excel in everything we do – to the point where it’s hard to take a break. However, it is crucial to take a break some time to get out of your normal routine and to recharge and renew. Time away from the office can actually improve your productivity at work and even help your mental and physical health. Throughout this blog, we are going to give you some inspiration on how to take time away and refresh without “breaking the bank”

Tips To Save For Vacation

  • – Have a garage sale – clean out your closets, attic, and garage to find things you don’t need anymore. Choose a weekend to set up a garage sell and put all the money earned toward your vacation.
  • – Sign up for WCU’s Round Up Savings Program – every purchase made on your WCU Debit Card will be rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount and all “spare change” will go into your Round Up Savings Account. It’s as simple as that to start saving for your next vacation!

Tips To Save While Planning Vacation

  • – Create a budget for your vacation and stick to it. Creating a budget and having an idea of how much you can spend before anything will help make the planning of your trip much easier.
  • – Make a list of things that are most important to you while on vacation. Is it spending time on the beach? Exploring the outdoors? Eating out? Shopping? A nice room? – create this list with 1 being your top priority and continue down the list, this will help better determine where your money should go.
  • – Research, research, research. The more you research, the better prepared you are. You can find the cheapest location and find budget friendly activities to do in your preferred location.
  • – Check out vacation rentals like VRBO or Airbnb, here you will find all kinds of unique stays within your budget and in locations all over the world!
  • – Be flexible with your travel dates, you will find that certain times of the year are cheaper than others.

Tips To Save While on Vacation

  • – Bring your own food – when looking for places to stay, consider finding a place with a kitchen so that you can cook your meals. Even just cooking for breakfast and lunch will cut the cost tremendously down.
  • – Seek free activities & entertainments in the areas you are traveling too. For example, community festivals, hikes, picnic.

We know times can get tough and money can be tight – don’t let that affect your summer fun! Here are some tips & tricks on how to plan the perfect “stay-cation” and make it feel like a vacation!

Stay-cation Ideas

Treat you community like a vacation destination:

  • – Go for a hike
  • – Conduct a tasting tour of your hometown
  • – Camp in the backyard
  • – Be a tourist in your own city

Take a “road trip to the surrounding cities, like Huntsville, Florence, or Birmingham.

Things to do in Decatur

  • – Rhodes Ferry Park
  • – Point Mallard Water park
  • – Visit Downtown Decatur
  • – Cooks Museum of Natural Science

Things to do in Huntsville

  • – Space and Rocket Center
  • – Botanical Gardens
  • – Visit downtown
  • – Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment

Things to do in Florence

  • – Helen Keller Birthplace (Ivy Green)
  • – Children’s Museum Shoals
  • – Pope’s Tavern Museum
  • – Florence Indian Mound and Museum

Things to Birmingham

  • – Visit the Vulcan
  • – Birmingham Zoo
  • – McWane Science Center
  • – Birmingham Civil Rights Museum

We hope you find these tips and tricks useful for your summer vacation or stay-cation – start saving and enjoy your vacation!

Coronavirus Scams

With the COVID-19 Pandemic spreading world-wide, fraudsters continue to utilize fear and worry as a way of provoking people into falling for their scams. In this blog, we are going to cover some ways to help you recognize and prevent scams, as well as, what to do if you fall victim.

Recognizing & Preventing Scams

Be cautious – legitimate businesses will not ask you to give out any personal information (full social security numbers, bank information) over a message or email. If the business is legit but you’re not sure about the email or call, contact the business directly though a number or website you know is real.

Guard financial information – Fraudsters will often ask for payment via specific means (wire transfer, loaded gift card) or they will ask for account information. Just remember there is no reason to share this information via phone call or email.

Poor writing skills – Many scam attempts originate in foreign countries and are written by people whom English is second language. These include grammatical errors, strange sentence structure , and misspelled words.

Don’t give into pressure – Many times, callers will make you feel a false sense of urgency or messages may include words like “Act Now!” as a way to push you into sharing personal information. In these cases, delete the message or end the call.

Think before you click – Always practice good good browsing while online. Never download attachments or click on links in an email from an unknown source, malware is often sent via attachment. If you are unsure of a website authenticity, check the URL for an “S” after “HTTP” – this indicates the website is secure.

What To Do If You Fall Victim:

Notify your bank and your creditors – It’s very important to stop the fraudulent activity as soon as possible. Call your credit card companies and your financial institution to put a stop to any further transactions.

Place a Fraud Alert – Immediately call one of 3 major credit reporting agencies and an alert will be placed on all 3 reports. You should view your credit report at least once a year to ensure no fraudulent activity occurs.

Check your accounts and statements – Check your accounts through online banking or the mobile app and review your financial statements regularly to help detect any unauthorized charges.

Contact the Federal Trad Commission (FTC) and your local police departments – Fill out the FTC’s ID Theft Complaint Form from their website and make a copy for you. Contact your local police department and fill out a police report on the crime. Try to give as much information as possible to help the investigators.

Update your security information – Updating your password on your phone, computer or any other device that might have personal information like banking information stored.

WCU Credit Union values the security of your personal information. That is why we will never ask you for confidential information, like full social security number, full bank account number, or PIN via email or website, an online chat, text message, or unsolicited phone call. If you receive an email or phone call requesting personal information, it is not from WCU Credit Union.