My Kid Saves More Than Your Kid

I’ve witnessed dads brag to each other about their sons’ athletic prowess, and mothers boast about their daughters’ brilliant science project.

But I’ve never, in my life, heard a parent go on and on about what a great saver his or her kid is. Yet it’s the young savers of the world who will likely go the farthest. Research shows that even 3-year-olds can learn about money and successfully save for a major purchase—and that skill will give them a leg up for the rest of their lives.

Now we have a reason to celebrate saving. As a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, I’ve been asked to help judge the Treasury Department’s new contest that will reward kids from kindergarten through 12th grade who have the best savings story. It’s not Dancing with the Stars, but I’m psyched to be a part of it.

The contest’s official name is “Save Out Loud,” and it’s just one part of Treasury’s Ready.Save.Grow. campaign. The winners get to have a live video chat with the United States Treasurer, Rosie Rios—whose name is on every paper bill—plus a bunch of commemorative prizes from the Treasury Department. (I’ve confirmed that they’re not gold bars, unfortunately.)

How Kids Can Enter for a Chance to Win

Students can submit a photo that depicts their savings story, along with a description of up to 250 words.

Or, fitting for our era of YouTube-everything, kids can submit a video (up to 90 seconds) sharing the story of how they saved or plan to save.

And the biggest way they’re capturing kids: Letting them enter via Facebook at www.facebook.com/readysavegrow! (They can enter through the Treasury’s website, too: www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow.)

Parents: Urge kids to be creative! Did they work hard to save for a toy or concert tickets? Or maybe a big-ticket item like a car or college tuition?

Help Pick the Winners

Grand prizes will be awarded for best photo and video for grades K-6 and 7-12, as judged by U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, Bureau of the Public Debt Commissioner Van Zeck, David Mancl from Jump$tart Coalition and Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Nan Morrison from the Council for Economic Education, and yours truly. (I look forward to seeing your kids’ amazing entries!)

The public gets to vote, too, and help select a Popular Vote Winner in each category. Stay tuned for more details on www.facebook.com/readysavegrow or www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow to find out how to cast your vote. 

Why It’s So Important

We all know the glory of a purchase: It’s shiny, it’s new, it’s wonderful!

But it’s rare that we celebrate saving. And we should! The hard work, the pay-off, the satisfaction.

The sooner we teach our kids to associate saving with celebration, not drudgery, the sooner that saving will become a natural and positive part of their lives. What better way than this contest to let kids share their goals and triumphs?

Enter Now!

Please encourage the kids you know to enter! For more info or to enter, head to Facebook (www.facebook.com/readysavegrow) or the Treasury’s website (www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow). Entries can be submitted through Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, and winners will be announced in early December.

Which of your children’s savings stories are you most proud of? I’d love to hear!

This post was originally published on Mint.com. © 2012 Beth Kobliner, All Rights Reserved.