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Why a Traditional Bank Savings Account Doesn't Teach Your Kid How to Save

Less than a penny in interest for a year of saving? Seriously?

What’s the best way to teach your youngster about saving and the power of compound interest?

Everybody knows you march your kid straight down to the local bank or credit union and open up a traditional savings account. Right? That’s certainly the conventional wisdom.

In fact, opening a savings account for your 6 year old is the “official” wisdom too. So says the panel of financial experts who make up the United States President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. It’s item 8 on their list of 20 things kids need to know to live financially smart lives.

My take? That’s complete bullcorn.

Let’s just think about this from a 6 year old’s perspective for a moment:


Everything You Wanted to Know about Kids and Saving, But You Were Afraid to Ask

Everything Your Wanted to Know about Kids and Saving, But You Were Afraid to Ask

Every parent knows kids should learn how to save, right?

OK, then, answer me this: how come only 1 percent of parents say their kids save any of their allowance?

Maybe parents have lots of questions about kids and saving, but they’re just afraid to ask.

That’s why we took to the Twittersphere with our friends @GiftOfCollege earlier this month. We posed 9 key questions about teaching kids to save, starting with the most basic: why?

Here are the 9 questions and an edited summary of the top answers.


Teach Your Kids How to Detect Phishing Attacks

Teach Kids How to Detect Phishing

Do your kids have access to email or text messages?

Then it’s time to teach them about “phishing” — sneaky attempts to extract sensitive personal information like usernames, passwords, account numbers, etc.

For example, suppose your child gets the following text message out of the blue: