Lessons Learned

When the girls were in elementary school, they enrolled in the School Savings Program that was sponsored by a local bank.   Basically the girls could bring  money to school on a certain day of the week, and deposit them in their own savings account.  This worked really well and the girls each saved a (very small) nest egg. 

Once they graduated from elementary school, they still had access to their accounts, only they had to go directly to the bank to do anything with it.  Despite the fact that  there is a local branch right downtown, we’ve mostly forgotten all about the accounts. (Except when they send the quarterly statements!)

This summer, KT has been working diligently at her first job.  She’s thrilled to be bringing home some pretty hefty paychecks.  I’ve been gently nagging suggesting to KT that she bring her checks to the bank to deposit them. (Usually right after she asks if she can borrow some money!)  Yet for some reason, she never had the time or kept forgetting to do so.

It finally occurred to me that she probably didn’t know how to deposit her hard earned checks as she’s never seen it done.  Shaun and I  do all of our banking online. We  both have direct deposit, I pay all of our bills online and cash is easily obtained at the grocery store.  So I asked her if she would like me to come with her to deposit them.  I had to smile at the huge sigh of relief my girl let out before she casually said that would be ok with her. 

The next day I found myself at the bank, teaching KT what a deposit slip was, how to fill it out and (very importantly) how to get cash back.   When she came to the box asking for her account number, KT whipped out the small laminated card that she had been given way back in first grade.  (I have to admit that I got just a little bit teary-eyed looking at her wonky little signature). 

We ended up talking with the branch manager to find out the options available to a sixteen year old girl.   KT decided that she would transfer her school account into a “real” savings account which would enable her to have more control over her funds and to get her very own ATM card.

I’m pretty sure this is the last time I will be invited to go to the bank iwth KT.  She’s a quick study and I’m sure she will be depositing her checks as soon as she gets them now.

As much as I love to see our baby learn such adult things as banking and taking care of her own money, I can’t help but feel a few twinges of sadness.  Our girl is getting so grown up…she’s stretching her wings and testing them out…preparing to fly on her own.

All I can do is prepare her the best I can.  And save these precious memories in my heart….

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27 Responses to Lessons Learned

  1. Shaun says:

    Oh, great. I shorted my keyboard with tears. Thanks a LOT!

  2. WT says:

    It’s virtually unheard of in Oz to be paid by cheque or cash, it’s all direct deposit.

    I’ve had a savings accounts since I was in 3rd grade. There should be more of it, but then these days, unless you’re depositing reasonable amounts (not the 20c a week we used to do) the bank fees will have you at zero balance in no time.

  3. MadWomanMeg says:

    That made me all teary eyed thinking about all the things I have to look forward to with my own little ones.

    It’s funny because when I moved back to Canada from NZ, I had no idea how to write a cheque or deposit money. I was 21 years old…but in NZ they don’t really DO cheques and stuff. It’s all DD.

    Glad that you were able to share that moment with her.

  4. kcinnova says:

    We are also of the direct deposit and online banking generation, and since our bank is so far away, our kids have never had that experience of walking into a bank to deposit/remove cash. I’m glad to know it isn’t a totally lost art form!

  5. Hilary says:

    Bittersweet moments. Once you get over the sentiment, you’ll realize that now she can pay rent! 😉

  6. Jay says:

    And the next lesson in banking she will learn is to storm into the bank, slam her statement down on the counter and say “I would like to know just what the heck this $4.99 “administrative fee” is? And why was I charged $2 when YOUR ATM machine malfunctioned and couldn’t give me any money?” LOL 😉

  7. Our bank is just 1/2 mile away, so the kids have been used to using it forever. Also, we put their accounts online so they can check on things often.

    My son just turned 18 and the banks been hounding him to get a debit card. He’s decided to stick with the ATM card. His logic? What is there that I’m really going to NEED that I can’t plan on getting the money out of the bank in advance for?

  8. nikki says:

    Gah, they grow up so fast don’t they?

  9. Susan says:

    Shaun~You’re welcome? teehee

    WT~They waive any fees until she is 19. Lucky for her or she’d be socking it under the mattress!

    MWMeg~Checks are getting rare…but this is just a family. Do they do DD for just an employee? I’m getting curious.

    Kcinnova~I suspect in a few more years, it will be a lost art form.

    Hilary~That’s what I like about you…always thinking!

    Jay~Oh so true! LOL

    Jenn~This bank doesn’t offer online savings. I’m thinking of having her move to our bank just so she can have that option. And of course, you know what a smart boy you have!

    Nikki~sniff…

  10. Jennifer H says:

    The fact that she still had her laminated card from all those years back really got me! *sniff*

    We’re starting to work on this with our kids. 16 is just 7 years off for my son, and I can’t bear to look ahead just yet. Still, it seems necessary.

  11. Sweet story. “I have to admit that I got just a little bit teary-eyed looking at her wonky little signature” So cute.

  12. Tink says:

    I remember the first time my Mom took me to deposit a check. I was nervous! Before that I’d always convinced her to deposit them for me. I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t know how it was done. 🙂

    You’re a good Momma.

  13. Betty says:

    I didn’t want my kids to grow up. I think they did it, anyway, just to spite me. lol

  14. iPost says:

    I JUST did the same thing with my 11 and 9 year old this week. They opened savings accounts of their own and their “wonky” signatures were toooooo cute. It’s the little things we will remember!

  15. What a touching story. Some of life’s biggest milestones turn out to be things you don’t expect.

    I still remember that when my folks drove me to college the first time, my dad took me to open a checking account in town and taught me how to properly endorse a check. To this day, I still write out

    “For Deposit Only
    Pay to the Order of XYZ Bank
    Account 123456789
    Ruth Hull Chatlien”

    Thanks, Dad.

    And thanks, Susan, for a heart-warming story.

  16. Kila says:

    Awww… Good job, Mom!

  17. Wendy says:

    Everyone’s already said it but that really was a sweet story. I loved it. I had an elementary school account like that and forgot about it. When I was 21 or so I got a check in the mail from the bank, which was closing out all the school accounts, and it was for about $75 I think. It was like winning the lottery.

  18. This story reminds me of when I talked my littlest into starting her own savings account (thinking I’d set her on a much more productive path than I myself had ever been on!) We took her hard-earned birthday money from the grandparents and opened a savings account for her. It took a little persuading to get her to actually turn it over to the bank, but I explained that she’d be getting interest! Free money for letting the bank use her money! The next time, when we went to the bank, I made a great bit of fanfare about the Interest! And when the lady gave her back her passbook, sure enough, she’d earned interest…TWO CENTS! I’ll never forget the pitiful look on her face, and the way she looked at me as though I must be some kind of moron to think that had been a fair deal!

  19. That’s such a great idea to have savings accounts available during school!!

    Sweet post, they do grow and change so quickly!!

  20. tommie says:

    it is kind of exciting to see what Liv will want to do a few years from now.

    I am a big, “it’s not on the list” gal now……but soon she will figure it out; I only hope she learns to deposit most of it and spend a little of it!

  21. Susan, I have given you a blogging award. Check out my place.

  22. Mrs. G. says:

    My kids were more thrilled to get ATM cards than just about anything I can think of. I think it makes them feel independent and grown up.

    Congrats on another rite of passage. Sniff.

  23. Karen says:

    Thanks for the reminder that I need to show my Midge how to deposit money at the actual bank. She has a bank account that I started for her when she was a baby (7 years ago), but she always puts half her allowance into her piggy bank to save. It’s probably time for me to take her to the actual bank and show her what to do there.

  24. Cheryl says:

    I remember so well my early days of saving, when we had a passbook and the deposits were hand written. Back then the interest really added up. I come from a family of savers, and I’ve followed suit. Great story Susan. KT’s on her way.

  25. janprytz says:

    Great story, sounds as if you’re doing everything right. After all your job is to make sure your kids suceed, and you are.

  26. Karina says:

    I came to comment on your Fun Monday post, but it seems to have disappeared, so I’ll comment on this one instead! 😉 I like the thought of the hairs being silver instead of grey…I’m going to strive for silver hairs as I age. 😉

  27. Stephanie says:

    When I was 15 (I’m 21 now), I got my first job. My parents told me that I was required (not optional!) to put half of each paycheque in a savings account for college. I was furious (and unhappy to boot)…but they made me. Surprisingly, I was never super broke (maybe a few less milkshakes and new shirts). I did it for 3.5 years of that job, until I started University.

    As much as I hated and resented their rule…now I am so glad they made it! The money I saved would have been spent on nothing important, but now I am still living off of some of it – and using it to pay rent and buy groceries while I’m in school and can’t work.

    I’d encourage more parents to do this…even if your kids resent you a bit for it, and fight it (and fight it they will…). It’s worth it, and some day they’ll thank you! 🙂

    Just don’t tell my parents they were right….I hate when that happens.