America Saves Week encourages everyone to build savings, including youth. It’s held the last week of February, and Friday, February 26 will be dedicated to the theme, “Save as a Family.”
The non-profit organization America Saves seeks to motivate, encourage and support everyday Americans to save money, reduce debt, build wealth and create sound financial habits. Even the youngest members of your family start saving and develop sound financial literacy habits.
Tips to help children understand the importance of saving:
- Does your child have their eye on a new video game or toy? Setting a goal and helping your child put aside money from a gift or allowance is a good way to begin a habit of saving.
- Help your children open savings accounts, either at an online bank or a local community bank.
- If you can afford it, consider a “matching plan” for your child’s savings, similar to employer matching 401k’s. For example, you put in 25 cents for every dollar your child saves. Then, encourage your child to chart how the money grows.
- Once your teen has a job, help them save automatically. Encourage them to set up a savings program through your bank so that some of their earnings go straight into a savings account. This is an opportunity to learn about automatic transfers and how to split direct deposit between accounts.
- Help your teens budget and track what they spend in a month so they can see their spending habits, the good and the bad. Talk about how to estimate monthly expenses and how much to save from each paycheck to build up savings.
Looking for more ideas? Try these free resources:
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers ideas to jump-start savings for children ages 6-12 and for teens.
- The S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides teachers, students, and parents with tools to develop an understanding of saving and investing.
- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Money Smart program offers both educators and parents lessons on savings and more, broken down by age group.
- Check out the Chesapeake Family article Planning for the Future— Kids and Credit.
- The Jump$tart Coalition promotes financial literacy and education for all ages.