States News Service
January 5, 2012
Children win in 'Race To Save'
The "Race To Save" campaign, sponsored by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation, resulted in more than 61,000 new children's savings accounts at banks across the country. The ABA Education Foundation initiated the campaign last year by challenging banks to open 15,000 new children's accounts in 2011 in an effort to promote savings among America's youth.
"This shared initiative between the foundation and the banking industry has been a tremendous success," said Laura Fisher, director of the ABA Education Foundation. "The 'Race To Save' banks are taking financial education to the next level by encouraging youth to open and make regular deposits in a savings account."
The ABA Education Foundation will continue the "Race To Save" campaign through 2012 with a new goal to open 100,000 children's savings accounts.
"There are a number of benefits to saving money at a young age and those benefits will last a lifetime," said Fisher.
The foundation highlights the following benefits to opening a youth savings account:
Kids who save are more likely to go to college. Research conducted by Washington University's Center for Social Development found that children who have a savings account in their name are seven times more likely to attend college than similar youth without an account.
Teaching kids to save teaches self-control. Choosing to save instead of spend, is an exercise in self-control. The famous 1927 Stanford Marshmallow Experiment showed that kids with self-control are psychologically better adjusted, more dependable and do better in school.
Children savers have a better outlook on life. Children with a savings account have lower stress and a greater sense of hope for the future, according to the SEED Initiative.
Savers are more financially literate. Students with a bank account tend to be more financially literate than those without an account, according to a national financial education survey compiled by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
Children's savings accounts are free and fun. Most banks offer no-fee, no-minimum balance "custodial accounts" for children. Many banks provide incentives for account openings and deposits, such as an increased interest rates or matching funds. Some banks give gifts, such as stuffed animals, while others have a kid-sized teller window in the branch.
The "Race To Save" campaign is part of the Teach Children To Save program that organizes banker volunteers to help young people develop a lifelong savings habit. Since the program started in 1997, more than 100,000 bankers have taught savings skills to over 5 million children.
The ABA Education Foundation provides financial education programs and resources that help bankers make their communities better. More than 123,000 bankers have taught basic finance skills to some 5.2 million young people through participation in the Foundation's signature programs, Teach Children to Save and Get Smart About Credit. Founded by bankers in 1925, the foundation is guided by a board of bankers and is an affiliate of the American Bankers Association.