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Teach Kids to Save with a Toy ATM Bank

written by: Dave Guilford•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/29/2011

A toy ATM bank is a great way to teach children to save money. They make saving fun and educational, and they help teach children goal setting and financial responsibility.

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    Not your parents' piggy bank...

    Teaching kids to save is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Teaching the next generation to save is so critical, the American Bankers Association has established a national “Teach Children to Save" day each year on April 21. Their hope is to reach one million children with savings education on that day.

    While there are many methods to teach children to save money, few are more gratifying for the child and effective for the parent than a toy ATM bank. Gone are the days of stuffing nickels and dimes into a glass piggy bank, never knowing how much it held until it was shattered. Now there are affordable toy ATM banks that calculate the amount deposited and provide the child with a running total of their savings.

    The best reviewed toy ATM bank is the YOUniverse Deluxe ATM Bank Machine. It not only encourages children to save, it also teaches them the basics of using an ATM machine. It comes with an ATM card that the child uses, with a password, to access their account. It has a digital display and is very realistic. The motorized bill feeder accepts all U.S. bills up to and including $100 bills.

    According to one mom, “I purchased this for my almost 6 year old. He had no trouble figuring out how to use it and it works fairly well. It has helped him grasp the meaning of saving money to work toward a goal. It has also motivated him to want to save."

    With easy access to revolving credit and a national savings rate below one percent, the United States is in desperate need of a new generation of savers. Fiscal discipline must be taught at an early age, or a child may be set up to fail in life. Record numbers of foreclosures and bankruptcies in the early 21st century speak to this basic truth. Parents are doing their children a grave disservice if they don't teach them to save early in life.

    Luckily, with tools like toy ATM banks, parents can teach their kids about money and saving, and make it fun at the same time. The children see their parents using ATM machines, and it makes them want to use their own. When parents take their children shopping, it becomes easier to explain how much things cost and the children begin to understand what the balance in their account represents.

    Most important, toy ATM banks help parents prepare their children to succeed in life. With the discipline to save instilled in their minds, children are more likely to become financially responsible adults. Not only will they be better able to manage their money, they'll be less likely to hit their parents up for a loan!