The Piggy Bank Balance Transfer

Banks and other financial institutions are going after kids’ lemonade stand money. According to an article in the 7/29-30 issue of the Wall Street Journal, many financial service providers are offering everything from stick-on tattoos to iPods to entice kids to bank with them. And they’re offering more than just passbook savings accounts. Today, kids can get checking accounts, debit cards, online account access, and small loans. USAA even offers a kid-targeted mutual fund, First Start, that invests in the stocks of companies children are likely to recognize and can be opened with as little as $20.
h3(matt). Matt’s View
p(matt). Giving kids access to debit cards and other financial instruments might strike fear in a parent’s heart. And we should tread carefully here. However, despite the growth of personal finance education programs in the nation’s classrooms, a recent report found them largely ineffective. So, with strong parental oversight, putting real financial tools in the hands of children may help teach lessons that stick.
p(matt). One caveat is to make sure the tools are age appropriate. A good source of information about what financial concepts kids can understand at what age is offered by the , click on “Simple Steps to Raising a Money Smart Child”. By far, the most important key is for parents to demonstrate wise money management practices themselves. With the average household saving very little and carrying heavy consumer debt loads, that may be the biggest challenge to raising money-smart kids.

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