Local students spend part of week learning about ‘privilege’ of money

lpemberton@theolympian.comApril 29, 2013 

Budgets. Savings accounts. Allowances.

Across the country, schools, libraries, government agencies, banks and other organizations held special events last week to stress the importance of financial literacy during Money Smart Week.

Representatives from Heritage Bank gave presentations at Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County branches in Tumwater, Rochester, Olympia and Lacey.

“It’s about teaching children how to save,” said Lacey Smith, a financial services associate with Heritage Bank in Tumwater.

She talked to kids about what dollar bills and coins are made out of, occupations and savings accounts. She also handed out goodie bags with kid-friendly worksheets about money and budgeting.

The presentation was interactive — there were squeals, hands in the air and, yes, candy. At times it felt more like a game show than a financial literacy class. Afterward, kids said it was “cool” and informative.

“I learned that money is actually a privilege,” said 10-year-old Jesse Marshel, a fourth-grader at Black Lake Elementary School in Tumwater.

And what are Marshel’s long-term savings goals? College and a trip to California.

Money smart tips

 • Develop a budget. Have family members track all expenses for a week. At the end, sort out “needs” and “wants.” Add up the wants to see how much money could have been saved.

 • Teach your child how to compare prices on goods and services while shopping.

 • Set up a chore chart, and consider giving your child an allowance for completing their tasks. Require them to save a small portion each week. A popular method is to divide the allowance into savings, charity and spending money.

 • Open a savings account for your child, and take them with you to make deposits so they can learn how to be hands-on in their money management.

 • Pay bills on time, and be a conscious spender and active saver because children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com theolympian.com/edblog @Lisa_Pemberton Sources: Jump$tart Washington and the American Bankers Association

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