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Savings tips for kids and adults

By Marcie Geffner ·
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Posted: 10 am ET

It's never too soon -- or too late -- to introduce a young child to savings and bank savings accounts.

That's this year's back-to-school message from the ABA Education Foundation, an affiliate of the American Bankers Association, and the ACA International Education Foundation, an affiliate of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals.

Both organizations recently offered some tips to jumpstart a child's savings and lifelong personal finance habits.

Here's a list:

• Make saving a regular part of a child's routine.

• Pencil activities related to saving into a child's activities schedule for the school year.

• Advocate for financial education at a child's school.

• Ask a local bank to start a banking or saving program at a school.

• Open a savings account for a child at a local bank. Many banks offer free or low-cost custodial accounts for children, and some offer a higher interest rate, matching funds or promotional items as an inducement to open a child's account.

• Start with an allowance, providing hands-on lessons in saving, spending, credit and budgeting.

• Set an example of responsible money management, paying bills on time and setting aside savings. Children tend to copy their parents' and grandparents' personal finance practices.

• Be honest about money, using mistakes to inform and educate a child about good money habits.

• Be patient. Some children need time and repetition to grasp financial concepts.

For the parents, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling recently recommended five key areas for saving.

Here's the list:

• A rainy day fund for everyday-life emergencies, such as home or vehicle maintenance, health insurance co-pays and deductibles, and the like.

• An income replacement account for household expenses in the event of a job loss, illness or disability.

• Mortgage downpayment savings for those who want to purchase a home.

• A savings account for known future expenses, such as tuition, a replacement vehicle or vacation travel.

• Retirement savings for long-term income security.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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