Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: saving money

To build kids’ money-handling habits — better Start Young.

Every parent who has passed the toddler-wrangling stage knows that kids learn by watching, and then doing—why else would we buy a lock for a toilet seat? So, when it comes to practical life skills, we’re always looking for safe ways to give our kids some hands-on experience.

For example, to raise a talented baseball player, we start young by instilling basic skills through a game like T-ball (cue parent, lurching backward to avoid getting kneecapped by a miniature bat). In the same way, to develop our kids into financially savvy adults, we also start young, teaching them basic stewardship skills like saving and responsible spending.

Or at least we try.


It’s time to send the pig packing.

In the past, we’ve all used similar financial tactics:  encourage our kids to stuff a piggy bank with cash until there’s some unexpected need to emaciate the poor porker, and then we start the process all over again. Or, if you’re one of those organized parents, you may have three separate pigs for spending, saving and giving.

While those are useful (and possibly Pinterest-worthy) tools, let’s take this kid-focused financial training one step further by introducing some real banking tools made just for kids.


It’s amazing what happens when you Start Young.

NewStart Young Savings and Spending Accounts give kids hands-on experience in handling money, with you by their side. Developed by Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) with 50+ years of banking experience behind them, Start Young Accounts help you and your children work together—discovering the rewards of saving and spending responsibly, while using practical money skills based on biblical values. 

For kids 7-days to 17-years old, Start Young Accounts offer age-appropriate digital banking tools, but with safeguards, limits, and options and that you control. And it costs you nothing—no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balances.

Each account also comes with its own Start Young Visa® Debit Card—allowing you to teach your children the basics of using money in a digital world, safely and at your own pace. Again, no maintenance or overdraft fees.

The card can help you teach your kids to make their own responsible purchases online or in a store; all while you control the spending limits and digitally monitor their account from anywhere. Just imagine helping your teens build healthy spending habits years before they get tempted with those first credit card offers.

 Learn more about the Start Young Visa® Debit Card


Start Young, finish strong.

It’s never too early to understand money, so Start Young Accounts offer your kids grown-up banking features that grow with them. It’s the best way to help your child discover the rewards of saving and spending responsibly—together!

Click here to learn how your kids can Start Young!

Who is ECCU? Since 1964, ECCU has provided excellent banking products and services to members located all over the world. But that’s what you might expect from any credit union. It’s what’s going on behind the scenes that really sets us apart. Click here to learn more about how ECCU helps you

Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is.



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Start Young Accounts encourage responsible saving and spending—all at a pace parents set.   These digital accounts give kids of all ages the hands-on features of adult banking, but with safeguards and limits that parents control.

Kids accounts that keep them accountable to you!
  • No maintenance fees or minimum balances
  • Digital banking for kids 0-17
  • Parental controls monitor account access and limit spending
  • Created by ECCU, the trusted source for stewardship development


Accounts also come with a Start Young Visa® Debit Card—complete with spending controls to help you safely teach your kids about using money in a digital world.


Discover Youth Accounts that You Control
Start Young Accounts help your kids learn how to save, spend
and grow their money—using practical skills based on biblical values.

Learn More Now!


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Our mailing address is:
ECCU 955 West Imperial Hwy, Ste. 100 Brea, CA 92821
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Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. Government Agency.


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For more great articles about teaching your children how to manage their money and more homeschooling information be sure to check out the Teach Them Diligently Blog.

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4 Money Mistakes Teens Make

Imagine if all your income was disposable, and you had very few responsibilities. It would be a real challenge to develop the disciplines required for long-term financial health. This is where a lot of teens start when they’re introduced to money.

As parents, it’s our job to instill a healthy attitude about money while equipping our kids with skills to manage their finances. Our teens are going to make some mistakes. But if we’re paying attention, we can help them make mid-course corrections and keep them on track.

Let’s look at four mistakes teens make when managing their finances.

  1. Spending too much on special events  

When it comes to events like concerts or sporting events, kids feel a social pressure similar to adults. Parents can help teens negotiate their spending on these events, showing them how to get deals and create a special evening that’s within their means.

It’s also an excellent opportunity to talk to them about financial peer pressure. There will always be a temptation to make financial decisions in an attempt to impress friends and families. The earlier we can help them recognize this tendency, the better.

  1. Not putting money into savings

Some kids are natural savers, but all kids need to learn to put money away. Unfortunately, a lot of kids will spend it as fast as it comes in.

Teens practice spending habits that they’ll carry into adulthood—so if they don’t learn to put money away when they’re young, they may struggle to make a habit out of it when they’re older.

Need a youth savings account that you can monitor together? Check out this option.

  1. Delaying understanding credit

Parents aren’t typically thinking about their teen’s credit, which could eventually be a bit of a problem. Believe it or not, in a few years when they actually need good credit to rent an apartment or buy a car, they may not have it yet. At minimum, teach them how credit works.

But before going out and opening a credit card in your teen’s name, try a safer approach with a debit card. This will give them practice using a card responsibly, a skill they can use later to build their credit. And with the right debit card, you can also control the spending limits and monitor spending habits.

Looking for a teen debit card that you can control? Here’s a good one.

  1. Carrying cash

Carrying cash can make it easy to spend, lose, or loan money—and after it’s gone, there’s no real record of where it went. We live in an age when everything from music to banking is digital, and our teens needs to be prepared. They should know how to monitor their account from an app, make mobile person-to-person payments, use a debit card, and digitally deposit checks. That way, the cashless world won’t be a big puzzle to them later.


Start Young Savings and Spending Accounts from Evangelical Christian Credit Union  help prepare your teen (and even younger children) for the world of digital banking. It’s the safe and secure way for them to learn the necessary skills required for managing their finances, and it gives you the visibility required to guide them through the process. Give your teen the tools they need to take flight today.


Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common on the Teach Them Diligently Blog.


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The Key to Teaching Your Kids About Money… is to Start Young

If you’ve wondered whether it’s too early to start teaching your kids about money, consider this excerpt from Let’s learn about money! Teaching young children about money, an article published by Penn State Extension:

As children grow and start to make choices, they learn that people, things, and money have value. These concepts form the foundation for understanding the importance of spending, sharing, and saving.

In other words, it’s never to early to understand money.

Start Young Road Map

At Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU), we couldn’t agree more. Our conviction is that earlier is better to begin developing not only an understanding of money, but also the biblical values of generosity and stewardship. It’s why we created Start Young Savings and Spending Accounts and the FREE Start Young Road Map: A Guide for Training Financially Responsible Kids to help you get started.

And because this is for you and your kids, the digital guide is designed to capture and keep their attention as they learn.

The fun, free and downloadable Start Young Road Map includes money management ideas for kids ages 0-7. The digital guide is packed with practical ideas that you can use in everyday life to introduce your kids to a foundation of concepts to earn, give, save and spend.

For example:

  • How they can earn money in small ways
  • Ideas for sharing to teach giving
  • How to build good savings habits
  • Using everyday events to teach financial foundations

And the Start Young Road Map is just the beginning, as it helps to get your creative juices flowing. For example, here’s another idea inspired from the guide.

To get your kids excited about vacation and make saving fun, create a “Vacation Fun Fund” jar that everyone in the family can add to during the year and cash in at vacation time. You can also work money concepts into your kids’ imaginary games, like playing pretend restaurant or store. The ideas are endless.

And, if you have kids of various ages you want to train to handle money more wisely, there’s a portion of Start Young Road Map dedicated to pre-teens and a section for teens as well.

To get started teaching your kids about money, follow this link for free access to Start Young Road Map: A Guide for Training Financially Responsible Kids

About the Author:


In 28 years of marriage, Rachel Soto and her husband David have welcomed six sons into their family. Those boys gave her 15 years of homeschool experience; she taught them through high school. With the boys off to college or on their own now, she returned to work at Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU). When she’s not working, she enjoys cooking, reading, coffee dates with friends and even an occasional nap.





Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common on the Teach Them Diligently Blog.


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Tweens and Saving Money

There’s never really been a good word for kids between the ages of 8–12. There was a time in the early fifties when they were called “subteens.” Flattering, right? Some folks started calling them “‘tween-agers,” and eventually we just settled on “tweens.”

Our struggle to come up with an acceptable term for this group reinforces the idea that 8–12 is kind of a lost age. They don’t require the same kind of constant supervision as young kids, but they don’t have the independence of teenagers.

But this is a pivotal time where kids feel trapped in an awkward transition. They’re learning to relate to peers, adjust to social rules, and develop the skills they’ll need in their teen years. And these skills include money management.


Here are some hands-on tips for giving them a financial jump start.


Start talking to them about banking.

If you don’t have a savings and spending account for your pre-teens, it’s probably time. Learning to manage a bank account is a must. In fact, putting money into a savings account is one of the best habits a tween can pick up. For every $10 they earn, try encouraging them to put $1 into savings.

If you’re curious about savings and spending accounts for your tween, take a look at these new options.


Get them a debit card.

Our world is a lot less reliant on bills and coins. And a debit card prepares your child for money handling in a largely digital world. Think about it this way; when you can control the spending limits and access, a card becomes safer than giving your kids cash—especially when you can set limits on the card.

Debit cards for kids? Yep! You can learn more here.


Help them make online purchases.

Making an online purchase is a fairly common activity. Kids should be as comfortable buying something on Amazon as they are making brick-and-mortar store purchases. Guiding them through this process demystifies this ordinary task.


Teach them how to monitor their account with an app.

Monthly paper bank statements are so 2006. It’s easier than ever to track your account activity. The ability to check in on your account from a mobile app adds a whole new level of security to banking. Your child should be able to monitor their account and their spending habits—and you should, too.

Learn more about mobile banking apps for you and your tween.


Help them make money outside the home.

At this age, they’re ready to start experimenting with work. Why not talk to family, neighbors, and church members about opportunities for doing yard work, babysitting, or helping others with chores? This not only helps them make money to deposit in their account, but it also instills a strong work ethic.


Give your tween a jump start.

You can’t teach the most important lessons in a day; they require consistent involvement and reinforcement. That’s why it’s critical to teach your child smart money managing principles and techniques early.


You want your tween to jump into their teens with boldness. The Start Young Savings and Spending Accounts from Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) will equip your child with the tools they need to manage their money effectively while offering you the right amount of visibility into every area. It’s confidence for them—and you!


Check out the Start Young Accounts today, and start preparing your child for their teen years.


Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common on the Teach Them Diligently Blog.


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A lot of people are surprised to learn that Jesus devoted 15 percent of his recorded words to the subject of money, and that the Bible has more than 2,300 verses addressing it.

Money is of great importance because it fuels nearly all of our activities in some way and can be used for good or ill.   It is utterly necessary just for daily living, and its handling is a mark of character, again, for good or ill.

A common misnomer is that the Bible – and therefore God – regards money as evil.  But this is a misreading of 1 Timothy 6:10, in which the Apostle Paul warns: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Some Money Facts

In the United States, which is arguably the richest country in the world, the Treasury Department continually provides new bills and coins at a staggering rate.

The first coins minted in America were pennies created in 1792.  “Paper” money debuted in 1862 during the Civil War, when precious metals became scarce.  Then, as now, the bills were mostly made of cotton and linen, not paper, which is sturdier.

Today, the U.S. Department of Engraving and Printing, which has plants in Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas, uses between 10 and 18 tons of ink per day to print nearly 25 million notes worth $560 million, according to the Treasury website.  Some 95 percent of these merely replace old bills taken out of circulation – much of it overseas, where the American dollar is a widely used currency.

In the 1860s, “In God We Trust” was added for the first time to coinage, debuting on a two-cent piece.  Later, it was added to currency, such as $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $100 bills.

Starting Good Habits Young

For Christians, money presents an opportunity to put our faith into action.  That begins with the radical notion that all of our money, not just 10 percent (a tithe) or whatever we are donating to the church, belongs to God.   This is the principle of stewardship.

When teaching children about money, it’s very important to begin with the foundational truth that it all belongs to God, and that while God is magnanimous toward us in inestimable ways, we have to operate as stewards of His riches.   Only when we do that can we properly handle money, please God and bless our families and others.

While many people in our culture of rugged individuality think of themselves as being in charge, the stewardship model begins in the Book of Genesis, when God assigned Adam and Eve the job of naming the animals and caring for the paradise around them.  They lived up to the task of stewardship until falling for the temptation to go beyond their God-given roles into a realm of power reserved only for God. We’ve all been working “by the sweat of our brow” ever since.

Throughout the Bible, we are advised to be good stewards of our Creator’s wealth, which includes our own lives and how we touch the lives of others.

“When it comes to a man’s (or woman’s) real nature, money is of first importance,” said former U.S. Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson.  “Money is an exact index to a man’s true character.  All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a man’s character and how he handles his money.”

Whose Money?

If we view all money we acquire only as our own, we are tempted to believe that we don’t need God or Biblical guidance.  It’s the ultimate power trip – we call the shots, no one else.  But if we view ourselves as stewards of God’s provision for us, we learn the beauty and joy of giving back and can develop a healthy view of our finances.  Concentrating on acquiring money for its own sake can lead to soul-destroying greed and contempt for those less well off than ourselves.

As Jesus Himself warned, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

In our free-market-based economy, we have many blessings unavailable to people who live under oppressive regimes that punish individual initiative.  But materialism, or the love of money, is a constant temptation in our culture, especially since we are pelted daily with advertising designed to make us discontented with what we have and aching to buy whatever they are selling so we can feel better.

Wealth can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how we view it and handle it.  For one thing, materialism can dull our appreciation for many of the best things in life that are free – including the gift of salvation.  As the Roman, North Africa-based Christian author Tertullian put it in 200 A.D., “Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”

Love of money can lead to crime, as evidenced by the fact that motives linked to money or sex account for 80 percent of crimes in the United States, but money accounts for a ratio of 80 to 1 crimes over those incited by sex.   No wonder Jesus issued so many warnings about the power of money.

Employee theft is estimated to be $50 billion annually, which forces everybody to pay higher prices. (“Personal Property Crimes,” U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006) Insurance fraud is similarly in the billions, which costs everybody because of higher rates.  Materialism is such a powerful motivator that few can resist it without God’s help.

The good news is that we don’t have to go it alone and that there are resources available to guide us.

God has much to say about money if we take the time to listen.

Written By Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author and Communications Advisor for Timothy Partners.  Some of this material was drawn from a curriculum from the Timothy Plan for family economics called “Stewardship:  God’s Plan for Financial Success.”

Written by Timothy Plan founder Art Ally, the 112-page workbook, which, along with brief video segments of a couple discussing their income and giving, offers a Gods-eye view of money, investing, giving and cultural impact.  Learn more at

Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common in the Teach Them Diligently Blog.


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Of the many thoughts racing through a student’s mind as he approaches high school graduation, two of his preoccupations are likely, “What do I want to do for a career?” and “How do I pay for this?”

The affordability of a college education is a determining factor in whether a student goes to college at all. ‘Financial Aid’ is a broad term used by colleges to encapsulate all financial options – from scholarships to grants to loans. Knowing how to combine financial aid options with responsibility and hard work will provide students with an answer to the question, “How do I pay for this?”

Here are some tips:

1. Federal Grants and Loans

Most colleges and universities will ask your family for the FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a federal form based on your taxes from the previous year which allows the government to determine a students’ Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Based on the EFC, the government will designate an eligible amount of aid to that student. Some of this aid will be grants (do not need to be paid back) and some of it may be loans (must be paid back starting six months after graduation).

Students should read the fine print on the awards they accept to determine whether the amount is indeed a grant or if it is a loan. If taking out loans, students should pay close attention to the Loan Entrance Counseling required by the government, and would be wise to seek financial counsel on how much to borrow. It is better to keep loans as a last resort when other options (discussed below) have been exhausted.

2. State/Organizational Grants and Scholarships

Some states, like Florida, give out ‘Promise Scholarships’ to high achieving students. These scholarships may have limitations (GPA, location, or attending a specific university/college) but are worth looking into! Organizational scholarships are awards specific to certain corporations and businesses. Walmart, General Electric, Associated Press have all been known to have scholarships available. Smaller groups such as the Rotary Club or local businesses are also willing to help out students who show ambition and creativity. Look for awards in your hometown or search out corporations you have connections with.

3. Work Study/Campus Jobs

Federal Work Study is a form of aid for which students qualify through the FAFSA. This aid caps at $4000 per year and is earned by working a campus job. The funds can be sent directly to your loans or student account, or they can be given to you like a regular paycheck. A student can also determine the percentage of his paycheck he wishes to send toward his student account: i.e., 60% to account, 40% via paycheck. Regardless of whether a student qualifies for work study, he can very likely acquire a job on campus to help pay for books and incidentals.

4. School Specific Scholarships

University aid is aid through the school itself. Academic scholarships specific to the university with their own GPA and test score qualifications, scholarships based on ethnicity, and association with certain extracurricular groups and societies (such as Phi Theta Kappa) are all opportunities for additional aid. Both state and private colleges will list a wide variety of scholarships for which students can apply. For instance – Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers an award of $500 per year to Polish-American students. That’s enough to cover books!

5. Spend Wisely

It is very easy to spend money in high school and college, especially when everyone around you seems to have a bottomless bank account. Starting financial responsibility in high school (or even earlier!) will create habits that will last through a student’s college years. Saving money, budgeting for fun expenditures (eating out, shopping, travel), and avoiding debt are great ways to both fund your college education and guarantee wise decisions when paying for school. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is one option for financial education that comes highly recommended for soon-to-be college students!


Working hard and making wise decisions when it comes to college will pay off in the long run. Students who work for and through college tend to value their education more because it was earned! Be sure to check out sites like for additional scholarships from outside organizations.


Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships - eBook - By: Alex Chediak



For more on financial assistance and preparing for college, you may want to look at the eBook, “Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships“, available in the Teach Them Diligently store.

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Article contribution by, Phylicia Duran, who is a 2008 home school graduate and alum of Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university. Her educational background includes dual enrollment, CLEP testing, community college, online courses and residential study. She has filled the roles of Admissions Counselor, Social Media Coordinator and currently Coordinator of Group Visits at Liberty University and is passionate about spiritual and vocational discipleship, especially as related to home education.

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Let’s be honest; not everyone is good with money. Some folks never learned the basics of balancing a checkbook, let alone controlling impulsive buying habits. So, for someone who struggles with finances, the idea of teaching kids about money and stewardship can seem overwhelming.

If that’s you, it’s not too late to still teach your children some solid financial skills. Not only can you prepare them for their future in ways you wish you had learned, but coaching them can give you the leg up you need to become a better money manager yourself.

Here are three tips to help financially challenged parents raise money-smart kids.

Have regular discussions about money

Although money is one of the most referenced topics in the Bible, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding how to use it. One reason may be that we simply don’t talk about it enough.

Children need to learn about the value of delayed gratification and telling themselves no.

As they get older, they need to learn not only the mechanics of managing their finances (budgeting and bank accounts) but also the importance of being vigilant about responsible saving and spending.  They can learn just as much from a parent who’s honest about their own money missteps as they can from a hyper-organized CPA—and those lessons might have a better chance of sticking. So, don’t be afraid to talk to your kids about how you have sought out resources to teach you the ropes.

Want to learn more: Check out this easy way to connect with your kids while teaching them banking basics.

Create a budget together

Understanding how to create and manage a budget is a critical money-management skill. When you take the time to sit down together as a family to prioritize your expenses and income, you create an opportunity for learning and bonding that can empower your kids as they realize where your money goes.

Fortunately, with the digital tools now available, you won’t have to keep track of your spending in a dog-eared notebook. There are banking accounts designed to help you to work together with your kids, creating budgeting categories and helping them monitor their spending trends.

For instance, Start Young Accounts from Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) come with a free app that gives you and your kids hands-on tools for saving and spending responsibly, while also helping them build and maintain a budget.

 Learn as you teach

Maybe you’re strong on self-discipline, but you don’t know a lot about banking, interest rates or student loans. As any teacher can tell you, instructing your kids is a great way to process new information or learn a new skill. Knowing that you’re going to be talking about a specific financial concept can stimulate you to research and remember even more than usual—and you benefit from the knowledge just as much as they will.

So, talk to them about how banking works. Teach them about protecting their financial information. Show them how to use a debit card, make purchases online, and use services like bill pay.

Learn More: Here’s an easy way to train your kids to use debit cards responsibly

Don’t be afraid of your shortcomings!

 Money will play an integral part in your child’s life, so don’t let your insecurities stop you from helping them (and yourself) learn how to become a money master. All the knowledge and skills you gather and pass on will enrich your life, too!

Start Young If you’re not sure how to get started, check out Start Young Saving and Spending Accounts. They’re chock full of banking features that will teach your child to save and spend responsibly while offering you the peace of mind of controlling their account access and spending limits.

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