Kiresten Smith Branch doesn’t remember talking to her parents about being financially responsible when she was a child.
But Branch said when she and her husband, André, have children, discussions about financial responsibilities will be a priority.
That’s why Branch recently attended a University Human Resources-organized workshop about how to teach children good financial habits.
“I am just trying to set my future children up for success,” said Branch, an office manager and student specialist at the Jenkins Graduate School of Management in the Poole College of Management.
The seminar was the first in a series of hour-long financial wellness workshops UHR plans to host in 2019 and 2020. The workshops are part of an effort to help NC State employees become and stay financially stable. The workshops will tackle a variety of topics, ranging from retirement and estate planning to credit repair and eating healthy on a budget.
“We have evidence-based research and survey data that shows when employees are stressed about their financial well-being their productivity and focus at work suffers,” said Britt Hurst, an Employee Recognition and Wellness Program manager in UHR. “In fact, it can be difficult to improve other elements of their well-being when financial uncertainty looms.
“The goal of this program is to provide a wide range of information so employees don’t have to struggle on their own and know there are resources available here to help them address their specific needs.”
Branch said the workshops are a good idea and should benefit many NC State employees. She said she and her husband have been discussing their financial future a lot lately, and she is interested in attending some of the future workshops.
“I want to make smart decisions and not rash, quick and indecisive financial decisions that when you think about them five years later, it’s, ‘I shouldn’t have done that,’” she said.
Eighteen NC State employees attended the first workshop. PNC Bank representatives led the discussion, offering tips about how to talk to children about spending, budgeting, saving money and credit.
Branch said the workshop offered lots of good ideas, such as talking to children about income and paying bills, and teaching them credit isn’t a bad thing unless it is misused.
“I never thought about explaining that because I was never taught that growing up,” she said. “When you heard about credit and when you heard about bills, it was always a negative, like, ‘I don’t have enough money to pay this bill’ or ‘My credit is jacked up.'”
Julia Matthews-McClain, a business service coordinator in NC State’s Department of Psychology, said she plans to take what she learned during the workshop and teach it to children enrolled in her nonprofit program.
Matthews-McClain is the founder of Julia School Inc. The school’s purpose is to teach children about morals and manners and to read, write and do mathematics. Matthews-McClain said 10 children ages 4 to 9 years old participate in her program.
“They see their parents spend, but the kids may not understand the basics about money,” Matthews-McClain said. “Eventually, they are going to be adults. I want them to have foundational knowledge about money.”Get more information about future workshops and how to register