Parents urged to teach young people about financial independence during GR8 Savers Week

Media Release: 11 May 2017

Credit unions are urging parents to take advantage of a national youth savings initiative to talk to their children and teenagers about the value of money and the importance of saving for the future. The annual campaign, run by credit unions across Ireland from May 8th to May 14th, aims to assist parents in teaching young people how to manage money responsibly.

The initiative, known as GR8 Savers Week, 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.

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

For more on GR8 Savers Week 2017, see the ILCU’s Twitter; @creditunionie and Facebook;



  1. Consider rewarding young people for regular saving. Don’t focus on the amount saved – but on the fact that they are developing a savings habit. Supporting and rewarding them to save even very small amounts on a regular basis will help to imbed the habit.
  2. Help young people to decide on a savings goals – it’s good for them to have both a short term and a long term goal. They will find it much easier to save regularly when they are savings towards something they really want.
  3. Dissuade them from spending their savings on impulse. Remind them of their savings goal and what they originally wanted to save for. Share with them a story of something that you would have saved for when you were younger.
  4. Help them to develop a savings plan, calendar or moodboard to highlight when their goal will be achieved. Having a visual prop which they can use to ‘countdown’ can also encourage them to stick to their target.
  5. Give pocket money or allowances in small denominations and encourage them to put a little aside. Having a piggy bank, or better still a transparent jar so they can watch their money physically increase, is also a good idea.
  6. Consider linking pocket money to chores. This helps to embed the idea that money must be earned. The more effort required to earn pocket money, the less likely they will be to spend on impulse or all at once.
  7. If pocket money runs out at an early stage, don’t rush to replace it. Providing additional money at the drop of a hat will defeat the purpose of giving a set allowance to them that only increases in line with extra jobs they take on around the home.
  8. Bring them to your local credit union to become a GR8 Saver. Opening their very own credit union account will give them a sense of independence and responsibility.  Credit unions are not-for-profit, community based organisations that have an ethos of self-help and self-development at their core.


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