INTRODUCTION

How is saving money like climbing a mountain? The hike can be fast or slow depending on your method of saving. The climb can be safe or hazardous depending on your choices. The trek can be boring or thrilling depending on your savings knowledge. Get ready to climb those peaks of knowledge with this lesson!

TASK

Do you know the benefits of saving your money? Do you know different ways to save your money? Do you know that the buying power of your money can decrease over time? In this lesson, you will take an online test about saving and then you will be asked to create a saving plan that could help you meet a financial goal.

PROCESS

As a student, you know it is wise to set goals. But did you know that as a wise person, it is important to set goals with your money also? It is smart to look ahead and figure out how you can achieve those goals. What financial goals would you set? Do you want something that costs more than your weekly allowance, or more than the money you earn for working, or more than the money you may get as a gift? Then you have to SAVE for it! Did you know there are different ways to save money? Let's find out!

Go to the Savings Trail and read the entire page (be sure to click to learn more about strategies for saving.) Then click on the Planet Orange Guide walkie talkie and see if you can think like a mountaineer! Come back to this lesson after you finish that page.

If you decide to save your money for something long term, you have a few choices to make. First of all, where are you going to put that money? Under your pillow? In your drawers? In a bowl on top of your chest of drawers? Hidden in a coat pocket? In a piggy bank? If you choose one of those places, what is probably going to happen? If you are like me, you might end up losing the money or spending it. Even if you wanted to save the money, having it close at hand might tempt you to spend it.

Banks are a good place to save money. If you save money in a bank, it won't get lost and it won't be lying around for you to spend on a whim. Also, did you know that if you put your money in a bank account for savings, your money is going to MAKE YOU MONEY? It's true. You are paid money for saving your money. How awesome is that? Some people think you have to pay a bank to keep your money safe, but just the opposite is true! A bank will pay you INTEREST for money you save in a savings account. Interest is payment for the use of money. Banks use the money that is deposited in savings accounts--to make loans to people who want to buy cars or houses, for example. In return for their use of depositors' money, banks pay interest.

Go to the Interest Mountain and read the entire page and the next page. When you finish those pages, come on back to this lesson.

That page you just read referred to a term called inflation. If you are going to save money for a long time, it really is unwise to save it at your house. Inflation occurs when prices increase over time. You do know that prices for movie tickets, gas, and many other goods and services just keep going up, don't you? Sometimes the prices go down, but mostly they just keep rising.

Go again, to the Savings Trail and find out about inflation. Be sure to click on the walkie talkie. Then come back to this lesson.

If you keep your money in your bedroom for a long time, it will lose buying power. It will slowly decrease in value, because of inflation, and you will be able to buy less and less with it the longer you hold on to it in your bedroom. Keeping your money where it draws interest is a better idea.

But wait, there's more! There are two types of interest. Isn't that INTERESTing? Simple interest is simply interest that is paid on the money YOU put in the bank. Compound interest pays interest on the money YOU put in the bank AND the interest that has been earned by your money. Now I know why that is not called SIMPLE! Need more explanations? Go to Interest Mountain .

Remember those goals we started with early in this lesson? Now you get to decide if those are short term goals or long term goals. What must you decide to do to meet those goals? If it is a short term goal then you would figure out how to earn the money in a short amount of time. If it is a long term goal then you need to make plans for the things you can do to earn money over a long time. It's like taking a vacation. A short term goal is like leaving home for the weekend. You would take a few changes of clothing and some money. Now, compare that to taking a two-week vacation. Plans would have to be made, more clothing would be required, and probably more money!

cdIf you have a short term goal that requires saving money, you probably should put your money somewhere where it will earn interest and where you can get at it easily when you decide to use it. For this purpose, a regular savings account would probably work well. But if you have a long term goal, there is a different way you can save. You can buy something called a CD. No, that doesn't mean Compact Disc! It means a Certificate of Deposit and it works like this. You buy a CD from your bank (by depositing some money) and you agree to leave the money in the CD account for a certain period of time. The longer you agree to leave it in the bank, the more interest you earn.

Go to the Banking Pinnacle and learn all about CD's and other banking options by clicking on and continuing the online pages that include Tangerine Bank, Savings Rocks, Long-Term Range, Checking Chasm, and Debit Den.

When you finish you will be ready for the quiz!

CONCLUSION

In this lesson, you learned that saving money in an account that pays interest is a wiser move than keeping it at home. You can save, and earn interest, for short periods of time or for many years. You can earn simple interest or compound interest on your savings, and you can save in CD accounts if you are willing to leave your money on deposit for a certain period of time. There are many ways to consider for reaching your financial goals.

ASSESSMENT ACTIVITY

Take the Republic of Saving quiz ! Keep taking it until you get all the answers correct.

What would you like to save for? Identify one financial goal for yourself and then do the following:

  1. Explain whether it is a short-term or long-term goal.
  2. List two saving plans that would help you reach the goal.
  3. Estimate how long each plan would take for you to reach the goal.
  4. Choose the plan that you think would be the best for reaching your financial goal and why it would be the best for you.

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

For extension, try these lessons:

  • Buy a Bond, James!-A Lesson on U.S. Savings Bonds. Buying a United States Savings Bond is yet another way to save.