DENVER -- When it comes to teaching kids about the importance of controlling their own finances, one of the first things Wells Fargo’s Scott Shuler tells them about is the burrito that cost him $300.
“Our bill was $20,” he recalled when talking to Nicole Brady. “I didn’t have cash or a debit card, so I wrote a check. Well that check bounced and by the time everything was said and done, that one burrito cost me over $300.”
That embarrassing blunder is why he now takes Wells Fargo’s hands on banking program into schools. It teaches about budgeting, savings, and credit--subjects Shuler says many kids don’t learn at school or at home.
“Some kids already have a really firm grasp because of their home situation, but then there’s others that it’s a relatively new concept,” he said.
Shuler says parents should start teaching the basics at a young age.
When they’re in elementary school, he suggests making a grocery list with your children and showing them the cost of different items.
When they get into middle school and high school, he says parents should talk to their kids about the costs of college. Not just tuition, but living expenses as well.
And he says there is a critical lesson when it comes to credit cards -- never sign anything without reading it thoroughly first.
He teaches that lesson by playing a game with the kids.
“Every time I’ve run that game, then the next class, and the next class, they say I am not signing up for that credit card because you’re gonna charge me two dollars at the end of class,” Shuler added.
Shuler hopes the lessons he teaches come in handy years from now when the students are buying a new car, taking a mortgage or even charging a burrito.