Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Urge Your Kids To Save More Than 34% Of American Adults

Teen holding a penny saved. asked 7,000 American adults:

How much money do you have saved in your savings account?

The sad answer? 34% had zip, zilch, nada.

And a whopping 69% had squirreled away less than $1,000 in savings. Worse still, that percentage was up from the year before which weighed in at a lower but still appalling 62%.

We’re moving in the wrong direction, people.

So, what does that mean for the next generation? Scary.

If we’re going to reverse this downward savings trend, we better not only start saving more ourselves, but we better encourage our kids to do the same.

How? Try some of these tips:

  1. Let your kid choose the spend-save-give allocation.
  2. Nudge your kid’s saving impulses with this data.
  3. Pay your kid more interest on savings than any bank would.
  4. Show your kid how to compartmentalize money.
  5. Offer your kid a savings match (with strings attached).
  6. Show your kid 75 random things other kids are saving for.
  7. Tell your kid this savings story with a surprise ending.
  8. Teach your kid these automated savings tricks.
  9. Encourage your kid to be a name-caller when saving.
  10. Show your kid this $2M picture of an early savings start.
  11. Play the sweep to savings game with your kid.
  12. Impose a savings tax on your kid’s saving.
  13. Harness your teen’s irrationality to build up savings.
  14. Add an emergency fund to your kid’s money bucket list.

With the stats showing adults faring so poorly with savings, it made me wonder: how are kids doing?

A T. Rowe Price online survey of 1,086 parents found that 79% of kids had either a savings account or a piggy bank. That’s encouraging!

Not so encouraging? A UK survey revealed that 46% of parents are raiding their kids savings. Not cool.

But what parents say on a survey and what they do in reality often diverge.

So, I ran some numbers today on our family finance site to get a reading on what families are really doing.

Here’s what I found in an anonymous sampling of the data from 6,515 kids who belong to currently subscribed FamZoo families:

Balance in Savings Accounts Percentage of FamZoo Kids
$0 44.3%
Less than $100 21.3%
$100 - $499 22.9%
$500 - $999 5.93%
$1,000 or more 5.6%

So, the percentage of kids who have zero dollars stashed in a FamZoo savings account is roughly 10% worse than American adults.

We can do better.

As William Shatner said: “If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

Fine for a famous maverick, but let’s make saving right for our kids. Then, maybe we can buck the downward trend.

Want to turn these tips into action? Check out

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