MERIDIAN — Nationwide, fewer people are saving money. Statistics show one in three have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, which is why a group of children are getting a head start.
"You don't have to get a car if you're just going to college,” said Abby, 11. “You don't have to get brand-name clothes. You don't have to spend more money than you really want to."
A group of kids ages 11-to-14 are attending a personal financial literacy camp at CapED Credit Union, where they're learning the costs that come with navigating through an adult life.
“I wanted the kids to really see what budgeting looks like and what real life looks like," said Sandie Waters, an economics and sociology teacher at Boise High School.
The kids start off at camp with a money pouch and throughout the camp they have ways to earn money and budget their expenses.
"The other thing we do with them is, they pay rent, and today was rent day and they can decide if they want to rent their chair," said Waters.
One of their activities is balancing a month's budget at college where they have to account for rent, groceries, entertainment and insurance.
"I took a really big hit when it came to my pet,” said Charlie, 14, about the struggles of budgeting. “It got sick and I had to give it shots to give it better."
They're also learning the real-life consequences like over-drafting and debt, but the money-saving tips they're learning will hopefully help keep them in the green later on.
Tips for parents with young pre-teens and teenagers to teach the importance of money and budgeting:
1. Sit down with your children and count out money.
2. Don’t just swipe the debit or credit cards in front of them, count out how much things costs and what their budget looks like.