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Research shows that children who save money are more likely to go to college. “It may sound extreme, but there seems to be a correlation between being fiscally responsible that builds confidence in other areas of a young persons’ life,” according to Decorah Bank & Trust’s financial education director, Johanna Kittelson.

The side benefits of saving money go beyond having money in the bank. “Just think about your own adult life, when personal money problems arise, it can affect your mood, your sleep quality and even your productivity while at work. Avoiding negative mindsets and gaining a better understanding of money are great reasons to rally for financial literacy for our young people from the start,” said Kittelson.

In an effort to help local youth develop healthy saving habits, Decorah Bank & Trust Co. is teaming up with the American Bankers Association Education Foundation’s “Race To Save” campaign. The campaign challenges America’s participating banks to open 100,000 new children’s savings accounts in 2012.

It’s never too early to begin saving, which is why Decorah Bank is up for the challenge and will continue offering Kids’ Club savings accounts that have no fees, no minimum balance and is FDIC insured. Children ages 12 and under will be taught how to use a “Spend. Save. Share” Moonjar™ by their own personal banker and will receive special gifts during the year.

Decorah Bank & Trust Co. encourages parents, grandparents and mentors to follow these tips to build a financially-fit future for their children:

  • Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions, and be prepared to answer them – even the tough ones.
  • Teach the difference. Explain the difference between needs and wants, the importance of saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so.
  • Encourage responsibility. Set up a chore chart and give your children an allowance for completing their tasks. Require them to save a small portion each week for deposit in their savings account.
  • Be an example of a responsible money manager. You can be a role model for your children by paying bills on time and taking them with you to make deposits, so they can learn how to be hands-on in their money management. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.

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