Helping kids save money

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Teaching your child to develop a savings habit early in life will help them in the future. Fifth Third Bank partners with the American Bankers Association for the “Teach Children to Save” program. The program goes to 45 area school districts throughout seven counties in West Michigan, teaching 40,000 kids in grades kindergarten through eighth. The program helps empower children by teaching them about the basics of finances, like deposits, loans, and interest.

Here are some pointers parents can teach their children, at every stage:

Preschool – 2nd grade

  • Ask relatives to contribute to a college fund instead of giving toys.
  • Start saving early by opening a college savings account or exploring 529 college savings plans options, available in every state.

3rd – 5th grade

  • Take your kids to the bank to gain an understanding of depositing money and making basic transactions.
  • Use allowances to teach kids about saving and spending money early on.
  • Create a saving jar, spending jar, sharing jar, and investing jar to show the different ways that money can be organized and used.

6th – 8th grade

  • Help your kids find simple jobs, such as babysitting or car washing, to start earning and saving money.
  • Include your children when planning finances that involve them so they can learn how to make sound financial decisions.
  • Take your kids to the grocery store. Have them help make decisions about what to buy based on your budget.

9th – 10th grade

  • When starting a first job, help your child create a savings and spending plan so they learn smart strategies for using their money in the future.
  • Research scholarships and other college funding resources now to cover the rising costs.
  • There are a lot of expenses when your child goes off to school. Set a goal and start saving together for housing, travel, and other costs.

11th – 12th grade

  • Talk to your teen about credit and avoiding identity theft. They should understand the implications of accumulating debt and aim to pay off their monthly balance in full.
  • Help your teen learn about scholarships, investments, and funding plans now so they’re better prepared to make decisions on what college, trade school, or university to attend.
  • Ask relatives and friends to contribute to a savings fund as a graduation gift.
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