It’s A Tale of Two Brothers: they’re twins, but one’s a spender and the other a saver. They both earn the same amount of money doing household chores, but while the spender immediately purchases music on iTunes® and buys candy bars, the saver puts the money away until he has enough for a laser tag party for 10 of his friends. How does the spending brother react at party time? You guessed it: he gets upset and exclaims how unfair this is.
For children in 3rd and 4th grade, this story is a perfect way to illustrate the concept of “delayed gratification.” It’s one we use often when we’re talking with local students as part of the American Bankers Association Teach Children to Save Day, which is April 12.
Smart money habits begin early – it’s proven time and time again that children who are exposed to financial education concepts are ones who pursue higher education and subsequently earn a higher annual income. Financial education is at the heart of our mission at Susquehanna. Our employees spend time in the branches and out in the community educating people about smart money management each and every day, but in April we focus specifically on our youngest savers through Teach Children to Save.
This national campaign raises awareness about the important role that banks and bankers play in helping young people develop lifelong savings habits. The program has reached 4 million young people with the help of nearly 100,000 banker volunteers through its annual awareness day and the Teach Children to Save website. Susquehanna has been participating in Teach Children to Save since it was created 15 years ago.
So what does Teach Children to Save really involve? Lesson plans. Lots of them. Activities designed with the help of educators nationwide that bankers can take into classrooms and, combined with a little bit of finesse, create a financial education lesson that hopefully resonates with the kids long after the session.
You can actually begin teaching kids about money at as young as 3 years old! Simply reading books that illustrate the need to buy what you need before you purchase things you want can plant the “money smart” seed. Susquehanna employees also volunteer time at public libraries all summer long reading books that introduce the concepts of money and savings. Check out this link for dates on upcoming programs, as well as suggested books that you can use to teach kids these important skills at home.
You can also get involved in teaching your kids about responsible money management with some of the online resources found here.
Have a question about Susquehanna’s participation in Teach Children to Save or some more tips to help children learn about money? We welcome your comments.
(iTunes is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.)