Youth and Money: Building Young Savers

Presented by Senior Loan and Mortgage Officer
Tracy Cannon, Utah Central Credit Union

The Savings Dilemma in the United States

For the first time in 72 years, the national average for savings in America was at its lowest level … a negative 0.5 percent. We haven’t seen figures like that since the Great Depression (Arizona Republic, January 21, 2006)

Americans are among the most cash-strapped people in the world, according to the latest semi-annual survey from AC Nielsen. Nearly one quarter of Americans (22%) have no money left once they’ve paid for their essential living expenses and spent their discretionary dollars. This puts America at the top of the list of 42 countries that are the world’s worst savers. (CNN January 25, 2006)

Only 41% of Americans save regularly (MSNBC in 2007 based on the Federal Reserve Bank report, evidence from the 2001 and 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances)

Teaching Children to Save

Parental involvement. Parents play a key role in encouraging children to save and starting savings accounts.

Allowances. Reward for your around the house or neighborhood can help young people establish a savings program.

Reward for good grades.

Discuss the “family” budget. To often, children think money grows on trees. They have no ideas where money comes from or how much things cost. They know what they want to buy, but don’t understand the mom and dad also have to pay for each month for rent or the mortgage, utilities, educational expenses, clothes, food, cars, goline, etc.

Yearly cost increases. Whatever something cots today, it will probably cost more tomorrow. Homes in 1940 cost about $7500. In the 1960s it was $26,500; in 1980 $69,00 and today a two-story, three-bedroom home would cost $280,000.

The “compounding” principle. One dollar can become a million over a lifetime

Here are some other ways kids can save money:

Take a portion of your allowance and set it aside

Forego spending money on candy, pop and set it aside in savings’

Take weekend odd jobs like mowing lawns, shoveling snow

Inheritance from grandparents.

Money earned from playing in bands, performing in concerts, at weddings, etc.

Summer jobs (lifeguard, local grocery store, camps, caddy at golf course, construction, youth camps)

School tutoring

Newspaper routes


Entry level jobs at fast food restaurants

Sell items on eBay

Coach an athletic team

Utah Central Credit Union rewards young savers by

1) Paying for referrals ($10)

2) Free gift cards ($24)

3) Waive membership fees ($5)

4) Get a free box of checks with your graduating class logo printed on the check

5) Discount prizes to kid-friendly places

6) Receive birthday cards, stickers and you get an annual party

Remember April 22-28 is National Credit Union Youth Week

For more information on saving, go to

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