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Opening a Bank Account

Category: Activities: Local | Age Group: 14-16

TOPIC:

Importance of Saving

RESOURCES NEEDED:

A bank of your choosing

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:

By the time adolescents reach this age they should develop a sense of the importance of saving. They need to recognize that they need to prepare for the future and that monies should be set aside to deal with established goals and any expenses which may arise. The idea of “paying yourself first” – in other words setting aside some money before spending it on other things – should be made clear to them so that they will not develop the habit of spending everything and saving nothing. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to have them open a savings account and establish a plan which will see them deposit a certain percentage of any money they receive.

THE ACTIVITY:
  • Sit down with your son or daughter and raise the idea of the importance of saving by asking them what they usually do with any money they receive.
  • If they indicate that they tend to spend their money ask them if it is always on something they need or is it on something they just want. (A good follow-up to this discussion is one on the important difference between a need and a want.)
  • If they indicate that it involves wants, suggest to them that it is important to examine the purchase of that desired item to see if it is really needed. If it is not, then suggest that the money be saved to help with a future need or goal.
  • With that established discuss where the best place to put that money is.
  • Suggest to them a financial institution that offers a savings account and review with them the benefits of opening up an account.
  • With all this as background, arrange to accompany them to that chosen institution and assist them with opening up that savings account.
FOLLOW-UP IDEAS:
  • Help your daughter or son set up a plan to assist them with making deposits into this account. Make sure that the plan has both short- and long-term goals.
  • Hold a discussion which focuses on the difference between wants and needs and the importance of knowing the difference.
  • Explain the term “Opportunity Cost” to them – that is, when you make a choice you are rejecting the second possibility on your list because you no longer have the
    resources to obtain it.
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