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Economics is Elementary

What do third graders know about economics?  According to Credit Union President, Cathy Bond, local third graders are pretty savvy when it comes to their finances!  Cathy spent the morning talking with third grade students about saving versus spending. economics

Third graders shared that saving means to collect, build up, or put money aside for later use.  Many students already have a savings accounts at a credit union or bank. Piggy banks, wallets, dresser drawers and mini-safes are just some of the methods these youngsters use to stockpile their money.

They had lots of answers when asked how you get money.  Once it was determined that winning the lottery is very unlikely, these youngsters came up with creative ideas for earning money.  Some receive a weekly allowance for helping with chores at home, others work in their neighborhoods raking leaves, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, or walking a dog.  Some budding entrepreneurs were planning to set up a summer lemonade stand, while another would collect bottles to return for the deposit.

The wish list of things to purchase or save for varied from candy and ice cream to books, games, vacations, food, clothing, toys, and even college education! Besides knowing the difference between “wants” and “needs” our young friends had some terrific reasons for adding items to their “buy” and “save” lists.  One young lady planned to purchase high heeled shoes because she wished to be taller.  A young man was patiently saving his money so that he could use it during a family vacation to Disney World.  Others selected books because they love quiet reading time and always want to have a new book ready as soon as they finish another.  Everyone knew that saving for college is important because education will help you learn the skills needed for your future job and that it will likely take many years to save money to attend college.

Cathy encouraged third graders to be good savers and wise spenders.  Kids might consider making a list of reasons anytime they wish to purchase something to make sure they are making a good decision about whether to spend their money or save it for something better later.

Congratulations third grade students at George J. Mitchell School in Waterville for being on a successful economic path!