About 60 bankers in communities across Iowa will be going into schools today (Tuesday) as part of an effort to get children hooked on the concept of saving money. Ben Hildebrandt is a vice president at the Iowa Bankers Association. Today is the ninth annual National Teach Children To Save Day and Hildebrandt says bankers across Iowa will speak with students in grades five through high school about the importance of saving, to convince kids and their parents to develop a “savings habit.” He says the national savings rate has plummeted over the past 35 years. A federal report says since about 1970, Americans have saved less and less of their personal disposable income. Hildebrandt says it’s an obvious problem that needs to be fixed. One in three high school students now owns a credit card, while a typical college student is carrying nearly three-thousand dollars in credit card debt that’s not-college related, things like clothes, cars and whatever else. 94-thousand Americans under 25 filed for bankruptcy last year. Hildebrandt says the U-S is at the bottom in national savings among industrialized nations, and he says Iowa bankers want to help bring the numbers up. The association is focusing on children and young adults because 80-percent of high schoolers have never had a course on financial management. Another survey found teens spent an average of 104-dollars per week last year. He says without some financial education, Iowa’s kids will learn about money from the school of hard knocks. The goals of today’s events are two-fold: explain the habit of saving today will help tomorrow, and that combining money, time and interest can help you build a better future.
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