Lisa Dukes recently opened college savings accounts for both of her grandchildren after seeing a social media post about a program called Fund My Future. Though parents typically bear the cost of college for their children, Ms. Dukes believes grandparents can play an important role as well.
“I think it’s important for grandparents to create a foundation. I always model behaviors for my kids that I hope they then model for their own children. I hope to motivate the parents to want more for their children.” -Ms. Dukes
Savings Lessons You Can Take to the Bank
Since students learn very little about finance in school, Ms. Dukes believes savings accounts are a great tool to teach children about savings. Now that she has opened bank accounts for her grandchildren, she brings them on trips to the bank to make deposits.
She states, “I took my granddaughter to the bank and she was so excited. My granddaughter- she calls me Yaya- she said, ‘Yaya, the money in the account is for me?’” Her granddaughter’s knowledge that she has her own account will inspire her to pursue her dreams and empower her to take care of her own finances when she gets older.
Along with saving for her grandchildren, Ms. Dukes emphasizes the importance of saving with her own children. Her son is currently a high school senior who has saved every paycheck since his first summer job at the age of 14. Anytime he was tempted to buy something new, his mother would ask him, “Is this something you want, or something you need?”
Often times he would realize he did not really need the item, so he saved the money instead. He is now prepared to use the money for college. He has received acceptance at several colleges, including Robert Morris, Slippery Rock, and Youngstown University, and he plans to major in graphic design.
Saving Habits You Won’t Want to Break
Both her son and her grandchildren believe they can accomplish their dreams because Ms. Dukes always tells them they can be whatever they want to be. She tells them never to use the phrase, “I can’t,” because they can do anything they want if they set goals and work to achieve those goals.
Ms. Dukes thinks this is important because when she was a child, there were always things that she was told she could not do. She had to motivate herself and develop her own saving habits.
Ms. Dukes has known the value of saving since she was young child. She always believed in saving her money, and she has always acknowledged the importance of budgeting.
“I am a budgeter, and I really stick to my budget. I don’t live beyond my means. Everything I want to do, I plan for it.”
To keep track of her budget, Ms. Dukes utilizes a free website called “Intuit.” This savings tool allows her to manage her money and ensure that she has funds set aside for her children and grandchildren.
Along with Intuit, Ms. Dukes always looks for other tools to make saving as easy as possible. When she saw a Facebook post about a child savings program called Fund My Future, she was thrilled. “I just thought it was awesome and the process was a breeze. Learning about finance can be very empowering for children, and now my grandchildren will be prepared for their future,” Ms. Dukes said.
Just like her son, Ms. Dukes hopes that modeling the importance of saving through Fund My Future will teach her grandchildren to save their money for higher education.