We are proud to be participating in the American Bankers Association’s 19th Annual Teach Children To Save Day and helping build a generation of savers.  This program is banker driven and focuses on teaching children the necessary skills for good money habits and importance of saving.

We believe it’s never to early to teach children to save; it’s one of the most critical life skills they need.  Teaching little ones the importance of saving can be tough; as a matter of fact surveys show that less than 40% of parents talk to their kids about money!  Knowing this, we want to share some ideas that might make it easier for you to teach and fun for them to learn.

AGES 3 – 5

Let your little ones handle coins and explain the value of each and that we use money to buy things we want and need. 

Activities to try:

  • Download this Needs VS Wants Color Sheet and let them create their own master piece.
  • Play “store” or “restaurant” to show how money is exchanged for other things.
  • Give your child a handful of pennies so they can “buy” animal crackers from you for 1 cent each.  After they have bought their goodies, eat them together!
  • Give them their very own piggy bank and show them how to “feed the pig”.
  • Once their piggy is full, stop by the bank and let them empty their coins into our coin machine and find out just how much money they have saved.

AGES 6 – 10

By this age, kids are beginning to understand the difference between wants and needs.  Talk to them about resisting the urge to spend all of their money at once on things they don’t need.

Activities to try:

  • Take a Smart Shopping trip and give them the responsibility of buying a particular item like cereal for example.  Give them parameters of what they are looking for, such as a cereal everyone in the family would like, one not full of added sugar at a cost below $4.00.  Let them shop it out and learn the value of making the best purchase decision while staying within budget.
  • Talk to them about different reasons to save, such as: normal purchases, emergencies or future purchases and charitable giving.  Let them get creative with how they will divide their money.  Maybe they have 3 different piggy banks or decorate 3 different mason jars or even as simples a 3 labeled envelopes.  Just make sure they are separate, marked clearly and used whenever they earn or receive money.

AGES 11 – 14

By this age, tweens usually have more money from different sources such as allowance, gifts or even babysitting jobs.  They are now ready to learn the basics of budgeting, saving for a goal as well as comparison shopping. 

Activities to try:

  • Give them a clothing catalog and pretend budget of $250.  Tell them to pick out their new wardrobe while staying within their budget. 
  • Every kid has a “want” that exceed the amount they have in their bank and the amount you are willing to spend…such as the newest smart phone!  Explain to them that this is a goal and one they can save for.  Brainstorm ways they can earn extra cash, like babysitting, yard mowing or car washing.  Let them save their earnings until they have enough to make the purchase on their own.
  • If they don’t already have a savings account at the bank, now is a great time to open one.  Allow them to go to the bank with you, sign the new account paperwork and make their very first deposit! 

AGES 15 – 18

By now, many kids have some sort of income whether from a part time job or babysitting on a regular basis.  If you haven’t already, now is the time to teach them the cost of everyday life and saving for loan term goals such as college. 

Activities to try:

  • This is the perfect time to open a checking account, learn to keep accurate spending records and balance their checkbook.  Let your teen go through the new account opening process at the bank and get to know “their banker”.
  • Work together to build a realistic list of expenses your teen would have if they were on their own.  Include things such as rent, groceries, car expenses, utilities etc.  Then discuss their potential income and together determine if they will be able to live within their means.  Talk about the reality of balancing income and expenses and find ways to make adjustments to live within a budget.

We invite you to bring your child to the bank and let us meet them, show them around and answer any questions they have about saving.  We would love to show them how to use our coin machine so by all means bring them AND their piggy bank and we will count coins together! 

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