Teach a Child to Save
Each year as part of the State Bank of Alcester’s commitment to the community’s children, several bank employees put on a program for the Alcester-Hudson Elementary School students for “Teach a Child to Save” day. This event, sponsored by the American Banker’s Association, works to promote the value of saving at an early age. Thousands of banks nationwide spend the day with local schools and children. The program includes hands-on activities to teach the children how to save and the importance of saving so that saving becomes a lifetime habit.
Financial education is not only the responsibility of the school and the bank. Parents and guardians should also be instilling the value of money. Below are some tips to help you continue the learning process at home
- Encourage Your Child to Earn Money. Doing the laundry or other housework, performing odd jobs at home and around the community or getting a job is a great way to teach children the value of money. After all, earning the money is much harder than just asking for it.
- Have Your Child Set Savings Goals. Having a goal gives the child a reason to want to save money. Visibly track goals using charts or reward the child for achievements on the way to attaining his or her goal.
- Teach Your Child About Budgeting. Planning ahead makes saving easier. Have children use four jars to save their money for different items. Put 10 percent in a jar for charity, 30 percent in one jar for instant gratification items like baseball cards and candy, 30 percent in another jar for medium-term savings to buy more expensive items like bikes and video games and 30 percent in the last jar for long-term savings such as college. Once the long-term savings jar gets full, open a savings account at the bank.
- Play Board Games. Pick games that show how money is used to purchase goods and services, such as “The Game of Life”, “Pay Day” or “Monopoly.”
- Introduce Bank Products to Your Child and Teach How to Use Each Product. Open a savings account for young children. Older children can open a checking account, create certificates of deposit, and get check and credit cards. Go through the statements each month with your child and explain what each item means. By teaching children while they are still at home, they are less likely to have financial problems when they have to handle their own finances.
- Involve Your Child in Financial Planning. Let your child help you develop your own budget. Include your child in planning vacations and major financial purchases in order to understand the trade-offs that must be made. When children are older, have them sit in on informational meetings with financial advisors or pick a stock to track weekly.
Opportunities to teach values about money come up regularly in the course of the day. Remember to take the time to teach your child when an opportunity arises to make him or her a better adult.
Fees may reduce earnings on savings and checking accounts. A penalty may be imposed for early withdrawal on certificates of deposit. Credit cards subject to credit approval, and fees and limits may apply. Fees and limits may apply on check cards.
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