Teach Your Children To Save

Full coins in a jar. Saving money. Growing concept.Save money for children and future.

Every spring, our bankers go into local schools to talk with youngsters about saving money. It’s part of a national effort called Teach Children To Save, led by the American Bankers Association. While we can’t go into classrooms this year, we are working to reach out to students in other ways.

With young kids, we talk about why someone might need a bank, why money is safe when kept in a bank, and the importance of saving money. Here’s some food for thought for you to help your kids develop money saving skills and understand the difference between needs and wants.

  • Make saving visual. Piggy banks are wonderful but a clear jar will allow your child to see their savings grow. If your child has a passbook savings account, help them keep their passbook current or even have them draw a chart so they can see their money grow.
  • Help your child see that things cost money. Don’t just tell your child that a toy costs $10. Help them make the connection between that cost and their money by helping them count out their money and show them how their savings decreases.
  • Talk about the difference between needs and wants. We need food, shelter, and clothes. That means we need shoes to wear but we don’t need Nikes. We want Nikes but could wear something cheaper. We need to buy food for dinner but junk food like Oreos are a want.
  • Make them buy some of their own wants so that they can see how hard it is to save money. Use this process to show them opportunity cost. “If you buy this toy, you won’t have enough money to buy a video game later.”
  • Give them savings goals. When they’re small, those goals might be to save for a special toy or game. As they age, those goals can be built on and will mature to save for a car or college.

Saving money is a habit best formed in youth – even if all they have to save is spare change or chore money. The will to save money is like a muscle that gets stronger with use. Developing good childhood habits will serve them well for a lifetime.


Things to Buy: After Christmas Edition

If it feels like you have done nothing but spend, spend, spend this month you are not alone. Sale opportunities began well before Thanksgiving this year and there has been no shortage of opportunities to find great prices online, in big box stores, in small businesses and everywhere in between.

So it may feel like a good time to curb spending and give your debit card a break. But have you thought about how much money you can save later by taking advantage of after Christmas sales now?

Woman with Shopping BagsWinter Clothing– While there have been many sales on winter clothes and accessories this season, the prices will be slashed immediately after Christmas. Retailers will want to move those items quickly to make room for spring apparel.

Fitness Gear – Millions of Americans resolve each year to lose weight or to get healthy. That means January is the peak season to buy fitness equipment, accessories and even gym memberships. That treadmill you’ve been wanting will be a great price throughout the month of January.

Furniture and Mattresses – Furniture manufacturers release new models in February so stores make room for the new by deeply discounting these big ticket items in January. If your couch is starting to wear or it’s time to replace your bed, this really is the time to buy.

Christmas Items – Who can forget the most deeply discounted items of all? Christmas items. Christmas cards, wrapping paper, bows, gift boxes, stationary, table linens, holiday china, candles, lights, trees, decorations …..it’s a veritable buffet of items that will keep until next year for just pennies on the dollar. Stock up now to save money next December!

Electronics – New models of electronics are introduced every January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That means that retailers begin to discount this current model in February. If you don’t mind buying last year’s tv, laptop or digital camera, you can usually snag a deal just by waiting until February.

Anything in Christmas Packaging – Many companies sell items that are not all that Christmassy in holiday packaging. Dish soap, paper towels, hand soap, candy, baking sheets, silicone spatulas, baking supplies, Ziploc bags, school supplies, body wash, perfume and more often come in holiday packages or gift sets. At fifty to seventy-five percent off, it’s a great time to stock up on items you use every day!