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The Value of Teaching Children to Save

From an early age, children begin to observe us as parents in all areas of life, and that includes how we approach money.

My oldest child just turned seven years old. Prior to his big day, I asked him if he had a wish-list. He simply responded, “I want a credit card, so I can buy anything I want.”

I quickly realized, that despite our family’s efforts in teaching our children the value of money, what they are observing may not be conveying the same principles we hold about money.

My kids see us using a debit card to pay for a large portion of our purchases when we are out at restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses. My kids see me going to an ATM (or what they call the “money robot”) when cash is needed. My kids rarely see bills being paid, as we utilize online bill pay for a large majority of all bills.

While we talk to our kids about saving money and “needs” versus “wants” all the time; it was such an eye-opening experience to hear my child verbalize his lack of understanding. He clearly didn’t know where money comes from and how to save based on what he has witnessed.

I want my children to develop healthy habits in all aspects of their lives. Healthy habits go all the way from eating to relationships, and especially to money. No matter what we may tell them, kids pick up on our attitudes about money by watching us.

Every April “National Teach Children to Save Day” is observed. This year it falls on April 12th, 2019 and it is a day to bring attention to educational resources available to teach your children the value of money and how to save it.

First Southern National Bank desires for children to develop healthy habits with money early in life. Developing these habits at a young age creates a foundation for a lifetime of saving and understanding the value of money.

Here are a few ways I plan to further display the value of proper money management to my children in our daily habits.

Paying for our purchases with plastic less frequently.

While cash can at times be cumbersome, I want my children to understand how money works. By using cash more often, if we are out for dinner or the grocery store, that will reinforce that our plastic card doesn’t have unlimited amounts of money on it. I want them to understand that there's not a little printing press printing dollar-bills inside every ATM and that it is coming from our account.

Let them watch their money grow.

I want to be more diligent in a consistent allowance. I want my children to understand that part of their allowance can be for spending, but there are parts that are for saving, and for giving away too.

My kids currently have piggy banks, but Dave Ramsey suggests using a clear jar to save. By using a clear jar, children can literally see money growing when it is added.

While piggy banks and savings jars are an awesome start, I want to open a bank account for them. I want them to come to the bank with me and deposit the money, so they feel responsible for it. I want them to understand interest and how banking works so showing the online bank statements each month and how their money is growing.

  • First Southern National Bank offers children’s savings accounts available to open with just $1.

Demonstrate that hard work pays off and that saving is a skill.

In today’s “I want it now” society, teaching my children that they can’t always have the latest toy or gadget, or leave the grocery store with a special treat is something I want to always be conscious of. Through this, kids will learn discipline with spending and that they don’t always get to buy something when they want it. I want them to also know that it takes hard work to accomplish the majority of things in life; from saving money to earning good grades.

  • A great feature for kids offered at First Southern is their “Pay for an A Program.” For every “A” a student makes on his or her report card, $1.00 will be deposited into a First Southern Statement Savings account (up to $10 per grading period). To find out more about this program visit https://www.fsnb.net/Personal_Banking/Savings

I know that helping my kids build healthy money habits is one of the best things I can do for them as a parent and I’m thankful for First Southern National Bank and resources available to help us navigate together.


Jenna Walker
Communications Specialist

(606) 365-3555 Ext: 19405
Email: jwalker@fsnb.net