Entries in savings (2)


Teaching Smart Money Habits


There's no doubt that teaching your child smart money management habits is vital to their long-term success. But amid all the soccer games, PTA meetings and lunch-packing, the school year can get busy -- making summer the perfect time to start teaching them about money. Here are some great ways to help your child understand finances:

  • Empower them to earn. Start chores young, giving your child small, incremental responsibilities around the house in exchange for money, play time or another reward. Show them that hard work pays off. 
  • Encourage them to get a job. When old enough, encourage your kids to get a job. Maybe it's babysitting for a next-door neighbor or clearing tables at the pizzeria down the street. Whatever it is, working outside the home helps teach financial responsibility, social skills and time management all in one fell swoop. 
  • Try a prepaid debit card. Prepaid debit cards are a great way to teach your kids responsible spending habits without too much financial risk. Consider depositing a small amount onto the card each month and letting them figure out how to budget it week over week. After a few overly indulgent purchases (and a zero balance until the next month rolls around), you can bet they'll start learning how to manage their funds more wisely. 
  • Use tech to your advantage. It's no secret that today's kids are tech-savvy, so why not leverage that? You can find apps to help them manage their allowance, learn to invest and save, and establish smart spending habits. 

Encouraging your kids to develop smart money management habits can set them up for a lifetime of success -- and maybe even help them buy their first home.



3 Options for Stashing Your Cash Automatically

Want to grow healthy savings? Establishing a habit is often the hardest part of this intention, but today's technology gives savers a few smart options that make saving easier than ever.

Invest your spare change with the help of Acorns. This app links to your credit or debit card and rounds up the cost of everyday purchases to the nearest dollar. The difference is then removed from your checking account and invested into a recommended stock portfolio. (Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Harry Markowitz, the father of modern portfolio theory, helped develop Acorns' method of making portfolio recommendations.)

There are no commission fees for trades made by Acorns, but there is a $1 monthly fee on accounts under $5,000, as well as a 0.25 percent fee each year for accounts over $5,000.

Having trouble developing the habit of saving? This startup, which launched in February 2015, links to your checking account and evaluates your income and spending habits to predict your cash flow. Every few days, the app decides based on your lifestyle how much it can safely transfer from your checking account to your Digit account (typically between $5 and $50). You can make withdrawals from your Digit account at any time with just a text.

This free app features FDIC-insured accounts (up to $250,000) with unlimited transfers and no minimum balance requirements. The downside? Your Digit account doesn't bear interest.

Your Bank or Credit Union
If the idea of trusting your finances to an app or not bearing interest on your savings leaves you wary, you've always got more conventional options. One of the most popular is the practice of setting up recurring bank transfers, where pay is direct deposited into a checking account and a portion of each check is then funneled into savings. Your bank may also feature an app option for savings, helping you ease into the world of financial technology.