Remember Dollarmite accounts?

When I was in primary school every week kids would bring their $1 or $2 of savings and bank them into their Dollarmite savings accounts. I can even remember the TV jingle! ‘We make saving fun and easy…’

When both our kids were born we opened up a kid’s savings account for them to deposit their birthday, Christmas and Chinese New Year moneys. We figured that these accounts could start accumulating interest so that when they were 18 they could use the funds to travel or pay uni fees or buy a car or whatever.

Dollarmite accounts are now called ‘Youthsaver‘ accounts but they offer the same benefits, mainly bonus interest when you make just one deposit and no withdrawals each calendar month and easy access and withdrawals (by the parents). When you open one up you receive a deposit book, some colouring pencils and one platypus coin bank which is actually very cool in a daggy way.

Anyway, Lady AB loves her platypus and my sister-in-law gave me an excellent idea for how to start teaching her about saving up. Basically we collect all our loose silver – the 5 cent and 10 cent pieces that get strewn about the house – and give them to Lady AB to insert into her piggy bank. She finds great satisfaction in putting the coins in the slot, though she is still confused by the fact that once you put the coins in you can’t get them out (unless you shake very hard). 

When the platypus if full we take it to our local branch to count the coins. It never amounts to very much but depositing savings is a grown-up habit that we want to instil early. And we just have to make that one small deposit to earn the extra interest.

What fun things do you do to teach your kids about money?

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