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Family 411: Kids financial future

CINCINNATI (Sheila Gray) -- If the recent recession taught us anything it's that Americans aren't saving enough money.
   
Retired people went back to work, student loan debt is at a record high but now the effort is underway to teach children the dangers of over-spending.  Elementary school students are learning how to become good business people and smart shoppers at a Market Madness event for third and fourth graders.  It is an end of year lesson in financial literacy.

Donna Quatromani, an elementary school teacher, said, "When you look at the economy the way it is today, we need to start early."

Donna Quatromani's students are learning money basics through the Council on Economic Education's Step Program.  Things like supply and demand, spending and saving.

"Now because of the economy it's vital.  You have to be a saver.  You have to be ready for that rainy day," Quatromani said.

Instead, a lot of Americans are taking too much out of the ATM.  About two-thirds of Americans acknowledge they don't save enough.  And a recent survey by Country Financial found 1 in 4 of us aren't saving at all.

Tim Schwiebert, a father, said, "I think parents sort of overdo it on little things, and it's good for them to understand it's not an endless pit of money everywhere."

Tim Schweibert's son, Grant, is only in third grade but he's got one of the most important lessons down.

He said, "Make sure you don't spend too much, and spend what you need to spend."

Dr. Julie Heath is part of an effort to get more states to require greater financial literacy training for graduation.

She said, "It's just a matter of them taking responsibility for the decisions they're making, and that carries onto every aspect of life."

Money educators say these hands on money messages compound just like interest and experiential learning is more likely to last.  CLICK HERE for more resources about teaching your children about money on the Council for Economic Education website.


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