Encouraging financial stewardship is just good parenting (or grandparenting!)

Maria Coyne with her grandchild, Edie

By: Maria C. Coyne, President & CEO, UCC Cornerstone Fund

Are you among the 86 percent of Americans that believe that financial education classes should be mandatory for K-12 schools nationwide?

In fact, 52 percent of parents and 52 percent of Americans overall reported, in a recent study, not having received any financial education in K-12 or college, with only 15 percent of Americans overall reporting feeling “very prepared” to manage their personal finances once they left college and entered adulthood.

Those are alarming statistics! Perhaps it’s just alarming to me as I grew up as a self-proclaimed “banking nerd.” When other children were running around playing with toys and games – not me! I brought home “borrowed” deposit and withdrawal slips from the bank when I visited with my mom, took the money out of Monopoly, and with a calculator in hand, set up my own little teller’s window in the basement of my house. Oddly enough I couldn’t figure out why it was so difficult to get my brothers or neighbors to play with me!

Fast forward many, many years later and after a degree in Finance, 30+ years in retail and commercial banking, and going on six years at the helm of the UCC Cornerstone Fund, I still believe learning the basics of financial management at a young age has been impactful in my life.

So much so that I encourage all young people not to be put off by the mysteries of managing money – even if you don’t aspire to work in a financial institution. That’s why we have recently put renewed energy in Cornerstone Fund’s Kids Club.  There’s not a lot out there now that encourages savings and good stewardship for children, which is why we see so many parents/grandparents/aunts & uncles opening Kid’s Club accounts for their loved ones.

Kid’s Club only requires an opening deposit of $25 and can be set up in the child’s name, using their social security number, and listing a parent or other adult as the custodian.  Establishing this account at Cornerstone also allows you to discuss with your child not only the importance of savings, but also the concept of “socially responsible investing” or in kid’s terminology – helps them know that their investment not only earns them more money, but also supports “God’s work.”

How can churches help families get a head start on their children’s financial future?

  • By sharing Kids Club information with parents and grandparents so they can help “tweens” set up a Kids Club account to save money from their babysitting or lawnmowing jobs. Families can also set up an account with a child and match what the child saves.
  • By passing along Kids Club information with your families at baptism.
  • By sharing the information with Youth Pastors at your church.

To sign a child up for Kids Club, please click here.

Please watch for upcoming financial programming for kids, that will be offered at summer camps and at next year’s Youth Synod, and eventually will be available for use in your church.

For any questions about Kid’s Club, or any other Cornerstone offerings, please email us here.

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