It’s never too soon to begin laying the foundation for your child’s financial future by teaching financial literacy.
That’s the message of the American Bankers Association Foundation, which kicked off a campaign this spring called “Help Your Child Learn to Save.” Its purpose is to educate families about the importance of creating a solid financial footing early in life.
The campaign is a part of the larger financial literacy campaign by the American Bankers Association Foundation’s national “Teach Children to Save.” Volunteers from High Country Bank began visiting local classrooms on April 20 as part of their local support for the program and in conjunction with National Teach Children To Save Day to help instill the importance of saving.
The effort has continued over several weeks, revealing some important information regarding family goals of guiding children’s view of money and budgeting. This includes the fact that most banks offer no-fee or low minimum balance “custodial accounts” for children.
According to a study called the SEED Initiative by the American Bankers Association Foundation, kids who save are more likely to go to college and graduate. With as little as $500 in college savings, children from families with modest means are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate than those without college savings. Children with a savings account also have lower stress and a greater sense of hope for the future.
The American Bankers Association has savings information and resources for parents and their children at aba.com/Teach. The report showed that 25 percent of teens think they will be financially independent from their parents by age 25-27. Recent studies also show teenagers want to know more about saving, budgeting, investing, financing large purchases, identity theft and how to protect their personal information.
The report also revealed that 46 percent of parents have spoken to their children about the difference between needs and wants. We can live without wants, but we can’t live without needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
This distinction is important and is the first step in learning how to develop a budget. Remind your children to ask themselves if they really need the item they are about to purchase. Consider sharing your family’s budget or information about the sacrifices and challenges you face providing for a family.
High Country Bank has created curriculum for educators and tools for parents to educate their children on family budgets, weighing purchase decisions carefully and the sacrifices and challenges families face providing for a family. For more information, contact High Country Bank Vice President of Operations Jodi Baldwin at 719-539-2516.