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Jump Start

Get into the savings habit … build your own financial portfolio…and play an active role in building your financial future. It’s easy to get started. And it’s even easier for you to team up with your parents to plan for the future.

1. Open a savings account.

It doesn’t matter how much you start out with, or how much you save. What’s important is that you save on a regular basis. Once a week is good…and you’ll be surprised how quickly your money grows.

Your savings account can be at a local bank or financial institution, or you can save through the Save For America at school…or just save at home with a piggy bank! What’s important is that you get into the habit of saving a little bit every week. It’s a habit that will last you all your life.

2. Buy a U.S. Savings Bond.

Once you’ve started the savings habit, think about saving for the long term…and watch your money grow. A U.S. Savings Bond can be purchased for as little as $25…and grow to be worth $50 in a number of years. It’s a great way to save for your education. Often, a Savings Bond will grow faster than a bank savings account. U.S. Savings Bonds are guaranteed by the government, which makes them a very safe investment. And you and your parents can buy U.S. Savings Bonds together.

3. Invest in stock with 401Kidz.

Once you’ve gotten in the habit of saving and are saving for the long term with U.S. Savings Bonds, you can learn about investing in the stock market. You and your parents can open a “custodial brokerage account” through 401Kidz.com and purchase small, fractional shares of companies on a monthly basis. Then watch the performance of your investment…because these are real shares of real companies. Fractional shares are a great opportunity to learn about companies and our economy, because you don’t have to make a large investment to get started. However, there is risk involved with investing in the stock market – stocks can go down as well as up – so you and your parents should decide together which stocks to purchase.

4. Make plans for your money.

It’s a lot easier to save if you have a savings goal, whether you’re saving for the holidays next year … or a car when you grow up … or big plans for the future. One of the best goals is saving for your college education, because banking institutions and your state and federal government offer special savings opportunities for children saving for college…and make it easy for your parents and grandparents to help you along the way.

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