Third-graders get lesson on saving and spending
Vicki Kounz of the Carlton branch and Lindsey Purtyman of the McMinnville branch visited the school Friday in conjunction with "Teach Children to Save Day." Other First Federal employees visited other schools around the county to deliver their own messages about saving vs. spending.
"You'll keep learning about money all your life," Purtyman told students in Susie Schulze's class at YCES. "Your priorities will always be changing."
Some of the students told her they already have practiced saving money. A girl saved more than her brother did for their trip to Disneyland. A boy saved up for an iPad. Another girl said she saved enough for a horse.
Purtyman congratulated them on their efforts.
"It's so much better if you save up for something, isn't it?" she asked. "You'll cherish it more."
But saving isn't always easy for everyone, she said. As an example, she read them a story about saving, "Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday."
In the book by Judith Viorst, Alexander and his two brothers each receive $1 from their grandparents. In the course of a week, Alexander spends 3 cents here, a dime there. He rents a snake for an hour, loses bets with his brothers, and can't resist buying some gum and a used candle.
"He tried to save, but he was too temped by things he didn't really want," Purtyman told the third graders.
At the end of the book, Alexander, broke, plots ways to earn some cash by returning pop bottles, wiggling his tooth to make it fall out and renting out his toys.
But even if he does make money, Purtyman said, he needs to make a plan. "It can be really hard sometimes to decide to save," she said, encouraging the third graders to open savings accounts to help them save.
Kounz, who works in customer service, told students she hopes to see them in her bank -- First Federal gave each student a coupon good for $10 seed money when he or she opens an account.
"Some people save, some people spend, some do a little of both," she said. "Even if you save a little at time, it goes a long way."
For example, she said, if you save a penny a day, you'll have $3.65 at the end of the year. If you save 50 cents a day, you'll have $182.50.
She also read a story to show them about the power of saving, even a little at a time.
Todd and Kyle are twin brothers who want new bikes. Their parents promise to help them with half the cost of the bikes, if they'll save up the rest.
Todd has a job in an ice cream parlor and makes $80 each payday. Kyle does odd jobs and doesn't make as much, only $25 to $40 in the same time period.
But Kyle is better at saving. He puts all his earnings in the bank, while Todd first spends some of his on fast food, CDs and other things he wants.
By their parents' deadline, Kyle has earned $80. He has also received $25 from his grandparents as a birthday gift, for a total of $115. So he gets a new bike.
Todd has earned $240, which the $25 gift pushes to $265, but he's spent $195 of that, so he has only $70 in savings — not enough for a bike.
"Do you think Todd learned a lesson?" Kounz asked the kids.