By Andia Dinesen, AFC ®
Military Saves Coordinator

When asked about saving, kids have a lot to say.  They may be repeating what they have heard from their parents, at school, or even something they’ve seen on TV.  But, they are beginning to form their own opinions at a young age.  It is interesting to see what they think of money and saving.  It is clear we all have different feelings about money and those feelings can begin to develop pretty early in life. In our last installment of What a Nine-Year Old Knows about Savings we found that both girls interviewed were saving from money they earned doing chores.  This new interview was a little different.


Recently, an almost-ten-year-old, Mac, interviewed one of her fourth-grade classmates, CeCe, about money and savings. You may be surprised at how insightful her answers are. One thing is for sure, kids are direct and they put things in pretty simple terms.

Mac, Question 1: What do you know about saving?
CeCe, Answer:  To save you put money in a bank account and save for college, school, food, toys, and other materials.

Mac, Question 2: If you were a parent that had children, what would you do?
CeCe, Answer: I would save for taxes, my kid’s school, and food.  I would save for Christmas presents or toys.  If I was a boss I would save to pay my employees.

Teaching Children to Save

There are a few things that stood out as I read and re-read the questions and answers from these fourth-graders.  First, is that CeCe answered that the money should go into a bank account, this is a clear concept.  Maybe CeCe even has been to the bank and opened her own account.  Also, you can see that she is thinking about the present, or at least very near future; toys and the holiday season are definitely on her mind.  Our present situations usually shape our current thoughts about finances.  CeCe’s second answer about taxes, the boss, and employees is interesting as well.  Maybe one of her parents is self-employed or owns a small business?

Keep Your Savings Safe, Secure and Growing

Overall, CeCe’s concepts are simple when you look at them.  They hold some hints into what everyone attempts to save for, from the basics like food and school, to job-related expenses like taxes and employee pay, and then of course, the other important things like toys and holiday gifts.
I think my follow up question might be - how do you prioritize this list of things?  Wants vs. needs?  I have to admit, I was impressed she didn’t mention a cell phone!

Case of the I Wantas

All of us have different goals and usually many more than just one or two.  Prioritizing these goals and simplifying them into wants versus needs can be a daunting task at times, but everyone can save, even if only a little at a time. We will have to follow up with Mac and CeCe again after the holidays and see what else they have to say in our next segment of What a Nine-Year old Knows about Savings.  Although, the next installment might have to be What a Ten-Year Old Knows…

If you asked your children about savings what would they say? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Read our last segment:
Money as you Grow.  What should kids know about money?
(Blog includes first installment of “What a Nine-year-old Knows about Savings”)