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A Moment with Mary Ann

By Staff | Apr 27, 2010

hile schools are in place to teach every child how to do math, speak and write with proper English language and learn facts about history, science and life in general, it is the sole responsibility of each child’s parents to be the primary teacher for the basics.

We as Americans are now faced with an economic situation that is not sound and definitely not desired. Nevertheless parents, no matter what state the economy is in, MUST instill in their offspring the fundamental lessons on how to save money.

My parents were great ones “to save for that rainy day” that always came when it was most unexpected. While these incidents seemed to be few and far between, those “rainy days” were there. Just as the skies darken before the rain comes, so it does when the washing machine quits, the car won’t start or there is an unexpected visit to a medical professional. And yes, all of these events dip into the wallet.

Whenever those catastrophes of life occurred, my parents weren’t caught off guard. While they have had to “dip” into their savings, they paid this additional unexpected bill without too much problem.

While many today are forced to “live from paycheck to paycheck” due to the exorbitant high cost of living and the rate of pay, we all must try to tuck away some unspent dollars for that unexpected blip on the radar screen that makes its sweep and affects all of us at some point or another.

Today, Tuesday, April 27, is National Teach Children to Save Day. It was established for the sole purpose of teaching our youngsters the importance of saving money.

Now is the time to let your young child or grandchild dry a dish, make the bed, sweep the porch, etc., for a small payment for the purpose of saving. It will be hard for them to fight the urge to spend it as soon as it is earned, but I believe that when they see the saving amount grow, they will find a new joy. Keep the earnings in a container labeled with the child’s name. Put the word “SAVINGS” in big letters on the label as well. When enough money has accumulated, go to your favorite financial institution and open up a savings account for the child. This will get him/her into the habit of going to a bank and see how interest can accumulate with the savings.

As the savings and children grow, jobs of babysitting and cutting grass will pop up and be followed by part-time jobs after school and on weekends. Hopefully the savings lesson from their younger days will stick with them and saving some dollars will be an automatic thing.