BOSTON (CBS) – April is Financial Literacy month and The American Bankers Association is sponsoring a Teach Children to Save Day on April 23rd.
Only nine banks in Massachusetts are planning to send bankers into the schools to talk to students about saving. Not enough!
And as parents, we also are doing a lousy job teaching the next generation to save. Our savings rate as a nation at one point was negative. It’s close to 6% right now. We should be savings 10-15%.
All kids should master the concept of saving. A savings account at a bank is good although interest rates are so low it’s hard for them to see much of an increase month to month. You can always be the banker and offer a higher interest rate for them to save. 10% would be an easy number for them to understand and calculate.
Get a few piggy banks and label them, spending and saving. Encourage saving part of their money gifts and allowance. Each month take the money out of the banks marked savings and add the interest earned. You are teaching them about compounding interest! Have them save for something they want and make it a long-term item. But realize that long-term for an 8-year-old is probably about 2 months.
The piggy bank marked spending is theirs to spend how they wish. No restrictions! Let them make mistakes with small amounts of money. Better to learn a lesson with $30 than $30,000.
Once they manage to save $50 then set up a savings account at a bank. Teach your kids some banking skills. How does a bank make money? Discuss savings accounts, checking accounts, how does a checking account work. Why do they charge for checking accounts? Use of the ATM machine?
Why do banks lend you money? What’s the interest rate on a home mortgage? If you have a 30-year mortgage how much interest will you pay over the life of the loan.