BOSTON (CBS) – April is Financial Literacy Month and The American Bankers Association is sponsoring a Teach Children to Save Day tomorrow, April 24th.

More banks than last year in Massachusetts are planning to send bankers into the schools to talk to students about saving. I have compiled a list of the banks on our website so you can see if your town and bank are participating.

Our savings rate as a nation at one point was negative. The latest numbers available are from February and it is currently 5.8%. Good but not great. Saving 10% would be optimum.

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 couple of 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 bank 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 at the most 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 consider helping them 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, and how a checking account works. 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 show them how much interest you will pay over the life of the loan.

One more thing:

Massachusetts Banks Participating:

Arlington:   Winchester Savings Bank
Ayer:   North Middlesex Savings Bank
Billerica:   StonehamBank
Boston:   Citigroup, Inc.
Cambridge:   East Cambridge Savings Bank
Canton:   The Bank of Canton
Dedham:   Dedham Institution for Savings
Dighton:    BayCoast Bank
Easthampton:   Easthampton Savings Bank
Everett:   Eagle Bank
Hingham:   Scituate Federal Savings Bank
Marshfield:   Scituate Federal Savings Bank
Milford:   Milford Federal Savings and Loan Association
Natick:   Middlesex Savings Bank
Newburyport:   Institution for Savings in Newburyport
Newton:   Village Bank
North Adams:   MountainOne Bank
North Brookfield:   North Brookfield Savings Bank
Norwell:   Scituate Federal Savings Bank
Orleans:   Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank
Paxton:   Country Bank for Savings
Quincy:   MountainOne Bank
Randolph:   The Bank of Canton
Reading:   Reading Co-Operative Bank
Salem:   MountainOne Bank
Scituate:   Scituate Federal Savings Bank
Sharon:   Dedham Institution for Savings
Somerset:   BayCoast Bank
Stoneham:   StonehamBank
Swansea:   BayCoast Bank
Wakefield:   Wakefield Co-operative Bank
Walpole:   Dedham Institution for Savings
Ware:   Country Bank for Savings
Warren:   North Brookfield Savings Bank
West Roxbury:   Dedham Institution for Savings
Winchester:   Winchester Savings Bank
Woburn:   Winchester Savings Bank


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.


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