Posts Tagged ‘ Saving ’

Have you heard? The Savings Force just turned one!

Wait…what is the Savings Force?

It’s Lil’ C and Super Z, the superheroes who help Citizens Bank Minnesota’s young bankers become super savers.  They introduce children, ages 0-12, to the idea of saving through educational newsletters, events and the Power Rewards Program.

Earning Power Reward Points is the best way to show the children how saving works.  For each dollar they deposit into their savings account, they earn a Power Reward Point.  It’s that simple!

There are other ways to earn points, too.  During the child’s birthday month, they receive a postcard from Lil’ C and Super Z that can be redeemed at their local Citizens branch for 50 Power Reward Points.

Lil’ C and Super Z want to encourage the children to try their best in school, too.  They can bring in their report cards and earn Power Reward Points for their good grades.

As the children save their Power Reward Points, they can redeem them for prizes, ranging from bouncy balls and finger puppets to DVDs and iTunes gift cards.  Prize levels start at 100 points and go up to 1,000 points, so reaching one of these levels is an attainable goal.  Plus, Lil’ C and Super Z love to send prizes to their super savers!

Lil’ C and Super Z also gave away some great prizes at their birthday party held in conjunction with the Minnesota Twins Home Opener on Monday, April 9.  They asked the children to bring in their piggy banks, step up to the home plate by each teller station and save their money.  They met their goal of saving over $500!

The Savings Force looks forward to helping the young bankers of Citizens continue to learn to save in fun ways!

By: Kelly Blick, Marketing Assistant/Youth Coordinator

National Teach Children to Save Day

National Teach Children to Save Day is April 24. Citizens Bank Minnesota is excited to once again go into our local schools and teach the second graders about saving.  The day is aimed at raising awareness about the important role that banks and bankers play in helping young people develop lifelong savings habits.

One of the ways we help the students learn about saving is by discussing what they might save for, why it is important to save, and where they can save their money.  To emphasize how banks are a better place to save their money than at home in their piggy banks, the students play a game with Laffy Taffy.  After the class is divided into two, they each take turns to “make a deposit” with their taffy, one group to their piggy bank, the other to the bank.  After the first round, the students who deposited their taffy at the bank receive interest in the form of more taffy.  After five rounds, the bank students have an overflowing bucket of taffy, while the piggy bank students have only the amount of taffy they started with.  This is a good visual and interactive example to help students understand the benefits of saving.

Following the Laffy Taffy game, the students talk about different ways they can add to their savings accounts, such as receiving money as a gift, earning money from jobs at home, or their allowance.  They also talk about their savings goals, such as buying video games or toys now, or saving for a car or college in the future.  The students then can ask questions in regards to saving and the bank.  In the past, the students have been excited to talk about the security of the bank, specifically the vault and motion detectors!

Through Teach Children to Save, the students really gain a good insight into saving that we hope will stay with them throughout their lives.  If they don’t already have a savings account, we encourage the kids to stop into Citizens and open one up.  They will then join the Savings Force and receive educational newsletters and be involved in our Power Rewards Program, which is geared toward saving money to earn rewards.

By: Kelly Blick, Marketing Assistant/Youth Coordinator

National Teach Children To Save Day

For the past six years, Citizens Bank Minnesota has participated in “National Teach Children to Save Day”. In that time we have reached out to 4,800 students between all of our locations. The purpose of “National Teach Children to Save Day” is to help raise awareness about the importance of saving money as well as to teach youth how to develop lifelong savings habits early in life. 

Citizens has chosen to focus on second graders for “National Teach Children to Save Day”, so every April, a group of bank employees go and visit all of the elementary schools in the surrounding areas. We present them with a fun, interactive 30-minute presentation. We start the presentation by asking them if they know what it means to save. We also ask them if they know the different places they can save their money and then we jump into a fun game. The game consists of splitting the class of second graders into two different groups; one group represents a savings account at a bank and the other group represents saving in a piggy bank. We pass out pretend money, using Laffy Taffy, and students take turns making deposits into either the bank or the piggy bank. After each round, we show them how the bank adds interest to the bank account, by adding more Laffy Taffy. At the end of the game, the bank account is over flowing in comparison to the piggy bank.  We then ask the students where they would like to save their money. They all undoubtedly respond “the bank” because they can see how much more the bank account has accumulated from earned interest, whereas the piggy bank does not. 

We also teach the students about the safety of keeping their money in a bank versus a piggy bank at home and also about savings goals. One thing that absolutely amazes me each year when we do the presentation is the response we get when we ask the students what their long term savings goals are. College is usually the number one response to this question which, I think, is great for second graders! 

At the end of the presentation and after all of the students’ questions have been answered, we give them a coupon to come see us at Citizens so we can start a savings account for them. 

Learning the importance of saving early is crucial for a lifetime of good financial habits and participating in “National Teach Children to Save Day” is one way Citizens is helping raise that awareness while giving back to the community at the same time. 

By: Pamela Stoltenberg, Personal Banker/Assistant Branch Manager

IRA – An Important Silo in Retirement Planning

Saving in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is an important way to prepare for retirement. A traditional IRA will grow tax-deferred and a Roth IRA will grow tax-free. The reason so may people are investing in IRA’s is that they realize personal savings will provide an important part of their retirement income. Personal savings and IRA’s are one of three silos in the retirement planning world. The other two are company sponsored retirement plans and Social Security. 

By: Cindy Lewis, Client Services Director

Tips for Saving on Bank Fees

These 3 simple tips are very basic, but worthy of a reminder and a monthly check-up.

1. Read the information you receive from your bank. Remember to check your monthly account statements for new deposits or withdrawals that you did not know about.

2. Protect yourself from overdraft fees. Keep up-to-date records of your transactions, and make sure you have enough money in your account to cover checks you have written or other types of withdrawals.  If your funds are running low, consider a cheaper alternative to overdraft protection, such as, a checking account linked to a savings account or a small dollar loan.

3. Protect yourself from ATM fees. Only withdraw cash from your own bank’s machines.  If you have to use another bank’s ATM in an emergency situation, be aware of the fees you may be charged. Also consider checking with your bank to see if any products are offered that may refund ATM fees.

By Linda Kretsch, Cashier

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