I find it interesting that John McCain recently made a comment about “financially irresponsible citizens” and the Colorado’s Governor Ritter proposed legislation last month to revamp the school system with more rigorous classes and assessment tools. It is evident that financial education for children is top of mind among leaders and it is definitely a necessity. With an unstable economy, the current mortgage crisis and America’s consumer debt now exceeding $2.4 trillion there must be something done to teach our children, the next generation of leaders, how to be fiscally responsible.
April is designated as Financial Literacy month and April 29 is Teach Children to Save Day. One GroundFloor Media client, Young Americans Center for Financial Education, is dedicated to the financial education of young people in Colorado, the United States and around the world. In celebration of Teach Children to Save Day, Young Americans Center for Financial Education conducted a survey of more than 600 local children between the ages of seven and 13 to find out more about allowance and spending habits. Why did they choose allowance as the survey topic? Because financial literacy begins with allowance. Financial skills can be taught as early as age four and allowance is usually the first introduction of money to kids.
The survey found that nearly 75 percent of kids receive an allowance and only 42 percent save a percentage of their allowance money. Not a great finding when it comes to saving. The key is to teach children how to manage and save money at an early age so their successful spending and saving habits will continue into adulthood. Young Americans Center for Financial Education teaches kids about saving, spending, donating and investing money. There is also an entire program dedicated to entrepreneurial ventures.
Young Americans Bank is the only FDIC-insured bank in the world for kids under the age of 22. Clients are children from all 50 states and 12 foreign countries. Kids can open an account two different ways: by mail or by visiting the bank in Denver. Young Americans Center for Financial Education is the nonprofit arm of Young Americans Bank. Since 1987, more than 360,000 kids have participated in financial literacy courses held by the center.
Young Americans Center for Financial Education offers Saturday classes for customers, with topics ranging from Savings Smarts to Budgeting to International Currency. These free classes are age appropriate and include hands-on activities. Weeklong summer camps for 2nd – 7th graders are also available. Classes and camps are held at the Cherry Creek location, 3550 E. First Avenue in Denver, or at the Belmar location, 401 S. Pierce Street in Lakewood.
For more information, visit yacenter.org or call 303-321-BANK.