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Teach Children to Save at Home

Teach Children to Save at Home

Every year NebraskaLand Bank teams up with the American Bankers Association in a joint effort to Teach Children to Save.  In years past, NLB volunteers would collaborate with Madison Middle School in North Platte as well as Buffalo Hills Elementary School in Kearney to take over a classroom and teach the students in person.  This year, with classrooms across the nation moving to the kitchen table, we are bringing Teach Children to Save into your home as well.  We want to provide you with tools and fun activities that will break the ice and start a conversation with your kids about money.  

How soon is too soon to talk to your kids or grandkids about money?

If they are old enough to ask for a toy or a bike, they are old enough to start learning financial lessons that will last a lifetime.

The best financial lessons are part of everyday experiences. Look for opportunities to talk about money, read books aloud and play games that center around spending money wisely. Be open and honest when you discuss your financial experiences—good or bad.

Here are some examples of teachable moments to help you get started:

Banking from home

Show your children the steps of a mobile deposit; show and explain to them what a debit card transaction looks like and how it works. Have them help you balance your checkbook or reconcile your bank statement.  Once our lobbies reopen, bring your children with you and show them how a face-to-face transaction works. Get the manager to explain how the bank operates, how money generates interest and how an ATM works. Ask the manager for a tour—be sure to ask to see the vault.

On payday

Discuss how your pay is budgeted to pay for housing, food, and clothing, and how a portion is saved for future expenses such as college tuition and retirement

Placing your online grocery order

It’s easy to give clear examples of “needs” and “wants” using different kinds of foods at a grocery store. Milk (for strong bones) is a need; soft drinks are a want. Explain the benefits of comparison shopping, coupons and store brands.

Chores and allowances

Assign chores and give them a monetary value. Discuss ways to budget and divide allowances. Encourage children to set a financial goal, such as saving for a bike, and figure out how to achieve it.

Paying bills

Explain the many ways that bills can be paid: over the phone, paper or by check, electronic check or online check draft. Discuss how each method of bill pay takes money out of your account. Be sure to cover late penalties, emphasizing the importance of paying bills on time.

Using credit cards

Explain that credit cards are a loan and need to be repaid. Share how each month a credit card statement comes in the mail with a bill. Go over the features of different types of cards, such as ATM, debit and credit cards.

Browsing the internet

While online, explain to your children how valuable their personal information and privacy is to you, to them and to online predators. Discuss the risks and benefits of sharing certain information. Then, as a family, make a list of rules for keeping personal information safe online.

Planning a vacation

Whether you are planning an outing to a local amusement park or an once-in-a-lifetime trip, emphasize the value of saving as a family. Set a family savings goal that involves your children. Figure out the cost and discuss ways everyone can help to reach the goal.

Create a piggy bank

Upcycle an empty plastic bottle, and create a piggy bank. While your child is putting together, the piggy bank talk to them about the importance of becoming thoughtful and responsible about how they use their money.  Talk about setting a budget and how money can be used in three ways: to save, to spend, or give to help others.  As they save their money in their newly crafted piggy bank, they can learn to make decisions on how to use money wisely.

Download DIY Piggy Bank Instructions Here

Learn a magic trick together

Work together to master the magic trick How to Make a Coin Disappear. While practicing explain to them that by putting their money in a savings account you can watch your money, grow.  If each time they get money they spend it or lose it, it turns in to a disappearing coin.

Download Magic Coin Trick Instructions Here

NebraskaLand University ​

  • This program is offered to high school seniors in the North Platte and surrounding areas at no charge. However, students must complete an application to the program and class size is limited. NebraskaLand University is a six course financial literacy scholarship program designed to educate students on budgeting, savings, credit, loans, career and wealth development, identity theft protection and more. The curriculum uses a combination of established financial literacy materials and unique lesson plans created and instructed by Senior and Executive Officers at NebraskaLand Bank. Each graduate of the program receives a $250.00 academic scholarship if all requirements are met. Each graduate also has the opportunity to earn greater scholarships through an essay contest that is judged by a bank committee. Students with the highest scores are the recipients of scholarships in the amounts of $1,000 for first place; $750 for second place; and $500 for third place.


Sending them off to college

They understand GPAs and test scores but how can we help them better understand their credit score or the value of saving?  The ABA's top 10 tips are designed to give students an edge on mastering personal finance.

  1. You are in charge. You are responsible for your finances and you should act accordingly by creating a realistic budget or plan and sticking to it.
  2. Watch Spending. You control your money, determining how you spend or save it. Pace spending and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses like eating out or shopping so that your money can last throughout the semester.
  3. Use Credit Wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. How you handle your credit in college could affect you well after graduation. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs.
  4. Utilize Your Bank Account. Banks are more than money in a vault. They offer valuable services that students can benefit from like check cashing, debit cards, online banking, balance alerts, personal loans, direct deposit, financial education and some offer identity theft protection.
  5. Lookout for Money. There's a lot of money available for students, you just have to look for it. Apply for scholarships and look for student discounts.
  6. New is Out. Consider buying used books or ordering them online. Buying books can become expensive and often used books are in as good of shape as new ones.
  7. Entertain on a Budget. Limit your hanging out fund. There are many fun activities to keep you busy in college and most are free to students. Use your meal plan or sample new recipes instead of eating out.
  8. Be particular when it comes to money. Don't just trust anyone with your money. Be skeptical of classmates, friends or salespeople that have ideas for your money.
  9. Save. Things happen, and it's important that you are financially prepared when your car or computer breaks down or when you have to buy that unexpected bus ticket home. No matter how small the amount you should start putting some money away immediately.
  10. Ask. This is a learning experience, so if you need help, ask. Your parents or your Banker are a good place to start and remember the sooner the better.


Remember always encourage your children to ask questions about money. If you don’t know the answer, research it together or ask your Banker. To learn more about our Smart Savings Accounts including Kid Club Savings Account by visiting our website or calling a Banker today. 

Local People. Local Decisions. Local Ownership.