It’s Never Too Early to Talk About Saving

You know a broken record. The way it plays over and over again. And you kind of want to throw it against a wall. Wait. You do know what a record is, don’t you? Please, don’t make me link to Wikipedia! So, the sound of a broken record is not unlike the voice of one of my children asking for candy while we are waiting in the checkout line. “Mommy!” “Mommy! Candy!” “Mommy, I want that candy!” Spin. Rinse. Repeat.

Little kids think money grow on trees, don’t they? Kids think that Mom or Dad can buy them ANYTHING. I’m not speculating about this, only stating a stone cold fact. I’m sure you’ve been in the checkout line when your preschooler asked for candy. It doesn’t matter to your preschooler that she just had lunch before coming to the store. Or that you don’t want to buy the candy. Or that you haven’t budgeted for buying any candy on this shopping trip. No, your preschooler simply wants the candy. And that’s that.

So, how do you teach your child how to save their nickels and dimes rather than spending them? PNC Bank wants to help you. PNC Bank has created a savings account especially designed for young children. “S” is for Savings is a children’s savings account offered by PNC Bank. Through “S” is for Savings, your child will learn about the value of money by playing fun and interactive activities. The activities on “S” is for Savings allow your child through play to learn about spending, sharing and saving, and the value of things that he might want to buy with that money.

“S” is for Savings can help parents help their children develop strong financial habits from an early age. This children’s savings account will establish a firm financial educational foundation for children aged 3 to 5 and the concepts can be used by children up to age 8.

Knowing that parents are their child’s first teacher, “S” is for Savings is designed to be played by the parent and child together in a “lap-learning fashion.” By playing the interactive games with a child, the parent can teach financial basics, like how to save money and what to buy with that money.

In PNC Bank’s online banking experience you and your child can set goals for saving, sharing, and spending in the “S” is for Savings Learning Center. “S” is for Savings,  part of PNC’s Grow Up Great financial education initiative, is based on Sesame Workshop’s lesson “For Me, for You, for Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing, Saving.” PNC’s Grow Up Great program is a $350 million, multiyear initiative that began in 2004 to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for financial success in school and life.

How does it work?

  • Parents can start an “S” is for Savings account for a minimum deposit of $25 with no service charges for account holders under 18.
  • Parents can create a separate login and password for their child’s savings account to keep it separate from the parent’s bank account at PNC Bank.
  • Interest will accrue on balances starting at $1.
  • A bilingual kit (English/Spanish) for parents and caregivers is available from PNC Bank,, and
  • The “S” is for Savings kit includes a children’s activity book and an original Sesame Street DVD featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster, and other Sesame Street friends learning about the financial basics of spending, sharing, and saving.

My Review of “S” is for Savings by PNC Bank.

The Musings from Me family had the chance to play “S” is for Savings. I logged in to where I was able to create a Username and Password for my son. Once we got the business-y stuff out of the way, it was time to play.

Who did we see when we arrived? Cookie Monster! Elmo! It’s always fun to see old friends, isn’t it? The first tabbed screen — “Stuff for Kids” — showed that my son had $25 in his account and asked him “How much money do you have?” Cookie Monster told him that his money was in three jars — Saving, Sharing, and Spending. He could click on each jar to see what was inside. I liked this feature as kids have a hard time imagining what $5 is like if they can’t see it.

I was interested in checking out the second tabbed screen “Learning Center.” In this parent section, there are about 10 “Learn about” financial topics to choose from. Each topic gives you a talking point to start a conversation with your child. Also, included are examples of ways your child can spend money he has saved.

I like the way you have four options for explaining a topic like “Spending” to your child through the Learning Center. You can talk to them about it, listen to a sound clip together, watch a video showing a kid using money,  printing out a worksheet, or listening to a tip from Elmo. The four buttons can be clicked by the parent or the child.

While your child can “play” with his money on “S” is for Savings, you can decide how much money will go in each of the three jars. This service is a great way to help a young child understand money in a fun way. Perhaps, the next time I am in the checkout line, my child will tell me why I shouldn’t buy him a candy bar!

I was compensated for this post. The views expressed in this post are my own. I follow the tenets of Blog With Integrity.

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