WAUKESHA - A penny saved is a penny earned. And it’s
never too early to start teaching children that message.
In the spirit of this week’s Money Smart Week,
financial awareness events are planned around Waukesha County.
One is “Optimizing Social Security Benefits and
Retirement,” which will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 6 to 7
p.m. today, as well as from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Aegis
Wealth Advisors conference room,
1208 State Highway 83, Hartland.
A seminar that discusses estate planning, Plan for
the Future, will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at the
Alice Baker Memorial Public Library, 820 East Main St., Waukesha.
Several Waukesha County libraries are also hosting
various finance-themed events this week. New Berlin Public Library
is hosting “Intelligent Investing: What You Think You Know Might
Hurt You” from noon to 1:15 p.m today.
BMO Harris Bank has released a study about parents
opening savings accounts for their children. According to the study,
Wisconsin parents are ahead of the curve when it comes to teaching
sound financial practices.
The study, which polled parents with children under
10 and Americans planning to have their first child in the next five
years, found that 80 percent of Wisconsin parents have opened or
plan to open a bank account for their children, compared to the
national average of 74 percent. Additionally, 65 percent of
Wisconsin parents have opened or will open the account before their
child turns 5, compared to 44 percent nationally.
An additional 11 percent of parents have opened or
will open an account before their child turns 9. Those numbers mean
that kids throughout the state are on their way toward healthy
saving habits, said Emilio Cooper, BMO Harris Bank’s head of retail
in central Wisconsin.
“Teaching your children the value of a dollar is an
important lesson. The earlier we can educate them about the benefits
of saving, the better. Opening up a bank account is a great way to
do this. All the more impactful if you can involve them in the
process, and take them into the bank with you to set it up,” Cooper
It’s never too early to begin laying a foundation for
healthy saving habits, Cooper said. For parents hoping to teach
their children the value of a dollar, BMO has some tips.
As soon as kids accumulate even a small amount of
money, parents should open a savings account for them and discuss
interest, according to BMO. Focus on a specific goal, such as buying
a video game or a bike, which can make it easier for kids to set
aside the money, Cooper said.
Suggesting kids save at least part of the money they
receive for birthdays, holidays or jobs can teach them about saving
for something they want. It’s also a great idea to teach kids about
giving back with donations, according to BMO.
“The saying often goes that kids can be
impressionable. Why not teach them about finances, an exercise that
will pay dividends into their future?” Cooper said.