OSTA Chat Room
There wasn’t room in the next issue of The OSTA Quarterly Review for the Chat Room, so why don’t we chat here on the blog? Send your responses and we’ll publish them!—Jane
Topic: Two national organizations, The Center for Enterprise Development and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, are promoting Children’s Savings Accounts. What did you learn about money as a child?
When I was in elementary school in Connecticut we would bring money in a special envelope each week to add to our special Savings account program. It was recorded in a sort of passbook. My earliest recollection was in 3rd grade. My mom used to put the “bank book” and maybe 50 cents in the envelope and I would take it to school. Then all I remember is we would get the book back and we’d do it again the next week. I’m sure my parents had the banking information. I would liken it to perhaps a Christmas savings account type of thing. —Nancy Inglehart, Bellacres MHP, Gresham
People from my age group (70 and older) I feel, all seem to know the value of money more that the now, younger generation. We learned early from our parents to start saving for retirement. I guess we were taught to stay within a budget and save any extra money we had. My wife and I bought used furniture for our first home and bought a product called Fab Spray which was a fabric spray paint that brought back the color in furniture fabrics. I think my generation was a time when a people valued their possessions more and didn't over spend like now days. Now it has to be NEW, whatever it is. Car, furniture, home appliances etc. —Terry Smith, Miller Estates, Central Point
I give my great grandkids two envelopes, one with cash to spend and one with 10% for saving. I've provided their parents with copies of "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clawing (1926), which describes the method of saving 10% of any income and never spending it. Practiced over a lifetime, this leads to wealth.
We pay the kids for house- and yard-work and have set up credit union (not bank) savings accounts. They can invest their savings as they see fit, hopefully in a million dollar startup of their own devising. We're hoping a couple of the eldest, now 10 years old, will get started soon and save us old folks from retirement beneath a bridge. –Bill Halderman, Golden Oaks, Springfield
I forgot that I helped my two girls learn about money, first by starting savings accounts for them when they were little and showing them the balances when money was put into their accounts so they could see the balances increase as an incentive. And then one year, for a Christmas present, I got them an appointment with a financial planner. I recall it wasn't what they had in mind from Santa but they have, over the years, mentioned the "present". Often in recalling things that mom did to them! But since they were in college it seemed like it was time they had an experience like that. And it paid off. Pun intended. —Carol Hanrahan, President of Shadow Ranch OSTA Chapter
When I got a job at Bridgeman’s, a soda fountain and dairy store in Duluth, my father taught me how to make change, something we girls had to do quickly on warm summer nights when people lined up for ice cream cones or sat at the counter for malts and sundaes or stood at the cash register for milk and hand-packed quarts of ice cream. I was never taught how to make change in school, and as far as I can tell from shopping today, kids still aren’t taught that skill. “Making Change” could be a fast game to play with grandkids and it could serve them well if they’re ever without one of their electronic gadgets. Just have handy some pennies, nickels, dimes, and maybe a couple of quarters, and if you’re feeling flush, use some folding money, too. Say something like, “Okay, honey, you just sold me a package of Gummie Bears that cost 47 cents. Here’s a dollar. Count my change back to me.”
Child hands you three pennies, one at a time, and says, “48, 49, 50.” Then child gives you two dimes and says, “60, 70,” and a nickel, and says, “75,” and finally a quarter and say, “a dollar.” That’s making change. For a little extra math, teach them how to play “Cribbage,” too. —Jane Capron, OSTA Review editor, SongBrook MHP, Eugene