Making a deposit into a child’s savings account is a deceptively simple act—simple because it is so easy to accomplish, deceptively simple because that apparently quick, transactional activity can have a profound impact on how children feel about their future.
Savings are a concrete and visible expression of the hope that parents feel for their children’s future. Seeing that expression and feeling that hope and talking about savings have a measurable impact on children. Studies show that children who have a bank account in their own name are three times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to complete.
Fund My Future is an innovative program that we have pioneered here at Propel Schools to help families establish a savings habit and realize these advantages for their children. With the participation of Neighborhood Allies and the support of County and City leaders, the program is now open to all families in Allegheny County.
We’ve learned through countless conversations that parents want to set up savings accounts for their children and have an intuitive understanding of the emotional power of saving. Many remember their own childhood efforts to save for a bike or some other desired treasure. But the commotion and tensions of daily life are keeping them from establishing a savings habit with their own children.
Fund My Future keeps savings closer to top of mind for parents. We work with more than a dozen community partners to bring the message and mechanics of savings to people where they are. We also use monthly raffles to add some excitement; but winning ticket holders can only claim their prizes if they have made a deposit! Our mantras are to make saving fun and easy.
Cash prizes may be a short term incentive but the real reward is hope about the future and a habit that leads to life changing possibilities.
Jeremy Resnick, Co-founder, Propel Schools