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Savings Safari - Bank Accounts For Kids

Teach Children to Save


Want to get your children interested in saving? Take them on a Savings Safari. A Savings Safari is a program where banks and credit unions open a bank account for kids and make the process fun and interesting. Over the years, this will hopefully keep your child interested in saving and learning about money.

Note that some institutions have similar programs with different names. Just because it isn’t called a “Savings Safari” doesn’t mean it’s not fun and worthwhile. I’ll describe the general idea, although your institution may have another flavor of bank accounts for kids.

Where to Find a Bank Account for Kids

If you need to find an institution that offers a Savings Safari program, start with the smaller institutions. Bank accounts for kids aren’t exactly profitable, so some of the bottom-line oriented institutions won’t even offer them. My first choice would be to look into local credit unions, then try community banks.

How it Works

When you open a bank account for kids, the child should get some fun things or toys that might have a safari-oriented theme. That’s just to make if fun for the kid. What’s more important is that bank accounts for kids typically have lower minimums to open. New parents are stretched enough as it is, and the idea is just to have an account open.

As the years go on, the institution might celebrate the child’s birthday by sending out a certificate as a present. The certificate can be redeemed for various things, but cash is the most attractive. In other words, if the child comes into the branch, the institution will credit the child’s account with a few bucks.

End of the Trip

After age 13 or so, the certificates stop coming. If you think about it, this is actually a good lesson, as it’s getting close to the time when the kid may have to go out and “earn his/her keep”.

Over the years, hopefully the child has learned something about saving and watched the money grow. Also, the child has presumably been to the institution a few times and understands what goes on there – money goes in and comes out, as needed. Of course, the institution benefits by having an existing relationship that will hopefully be a long-time account holder.

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