By Greg Bennett, utahvalley360.com
Kirk and Jackie Williamson joined UCCU as a young married couple in the early 1980s. As they’ve added children and as times have changed, the Williamsons continue to look to UCCU as their financial institution of choice, assisting them in meeting their goals. Jackie shares a few of her thoughts on money.
How did your parents’ financial habits affect the way you approach money?
My parents went through the Great Depression, and my father was great about trying to teach us about money. He would sit with his children around him at night and read from The Wall Street Journal. He offered us $5 if we would deposit $20 in our savings accounts. I quickly realized that was a 25 percent interest rate, so I took advantage of it and became a determined saver from then on.
What things have you done to teach your children about money?
Three of our children are married and we want them to learn to save money, too, so this past year we had all five of our children read “The Richest Man in Babylon,” (by George S. Clason) written in 1926 that teaches current financial information in a fun, short book.
We told our children that we wanted them to save and that my father had taught me to save by offering 25 percent on the money we saved, so we gave them one year to save and then had another financial meeting and paid them 25 percent on their money. We were thrilled with how hard they worked to save.
We watch financial videos with our children, trying to teach strong financial principles. We want to make saving and investing part of our family culture so that our children will have secure financial futures and will not fall into the traps of living for today.
How did your conservative habits help in business?
We are in the building industry and saw the financial devastation of many in the industry in the 1980s. We knew that the building industry would see similar times again, so when the times were good we made a concerted effort to pay off buildings and to pay cash for any business expansion. This has made these financial times easier to weather.
We are also involved in development and decided to only be involved in one project at a time so we were never at too great of a risk. This has also been a blessing in this financial downturn.
How has communication helped you work through financial considerations?
Reading and learning and counseling together — then teaching our children to do the same — has helped us be able to communicate about financial matters and make decisions together as a couple. As we have become older and more established financially it has become easier. But early in our marriage, we took turns paying the bills and being in charge of the finances.
How have the programs at UCCU helped your family save money?
All our children have been members since they were young when we set them up with youth saver accounts. Our boys have saved their money for their missions, and our married daughter saved for her marriage in her account.
What is your favorite aspect of banking with UCCU?
Banking online. I love to see all three of our accounts at once and to transfer money from accounts. I have been using a direct savings deposit for years and have loved that, too. It is a great way to encourage constant savings from our regular paychecks.