GR8 Savers Week encourages parents to talk to children about importance of money management.

A new initiative is urging parents to talk to their children about the value of money and the importance of saving for the future.

The annual GR8 Savers Week campaign, run by credit unions across Ireland from May 8-14, aims to assist parents in teaching young people how to manage money responsibly.

The initiative will be supported with a social media information campaign on the Irish League of Credit Unions’ Twitter and Facebook pages. Information leaflets, containing tips and guidelines for parents, and activity sheets will also be available in local credit unions.

Credit Union Youth Ambassadors and Olympic rowing medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan officially launched Gr8 Savers Week for 2017.

Also speaking about the youth savings initiative, Credit Union Youth Ambassador Paul O’Donovan said: “Gary and myself learned a lot about managing our finances through saving with our local credit union over the years. Being financially responsible was important for us and really helped us along the way and we think this is an important message to communicate to young people.”

Gary O’Donovan added: “Financial independence is a great skill to have in life, and especially when you are working towards achieving a goal that you have set yourself. We would encourage all young people to learn about managing their money responsibly.”

The campaign comes at a time when there is a clear trend towards saving among Irish consumers. 2016 ESRI figures show that 70% of Irish people are now saving, with the majority of these saving €200 a month. This is up from a 2013 ESRI report which found that 40% of the population were not saving at all.

Speaking about the GR8 Savers campaign, ILCU Director of Communications and Marketing, Emmet Oliver said; “The skills necessary for financial independence and responsibility need to be learned from an early age, and this can sometimes be overlooked.

“There is never too young an age to teach children and teenagers how to spend wisely, and GR8 Savers Week is all about giving parents the tools necessary to show their children and teens how to develop a healthy relationship with money.

“Financial responsibility is an essential life skill and can be developed through simple approaches, such as helping a young person to save towards a goal of their choice.”

Mr Oliver added “It’s important that Irish consumers who are saving each month have the necessary skills to manage these savings wisely – and that they pass these financial skills and lessons on to their children and teenagers.”