BY STEVEN GORDON, LEMONADE DAY NATIONAL PRESIDENT
As parents, we are often bombarded with advertisements to save for our children’s post-secondary education. After all, the cost of tuition and other expenses continue to climb higher and higher leaving most parents, or their kids, saddled with student loan debts that take years to pay off. According to the Federal Reserve, over half of young adults who went to college in 2018 took on debt. About 69% of students from the Class of 2018, graduated with an average debt balance of $29,800, according to Student Loan Hero. While these numbers represent the average of all student debt, it’s not unheard of that post-secondary graduates accumulate debt upwards, or over, $100,000. In my opinion, that sticker shock is an incredibly gloomy way to start your career. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Statistics point out that financial literacy is critical to setting a foundation for meaningful opportunities for future successes. At Lemonade Day, we’ve been helping children secure outcomes that will change their lives forever. Our programs and curriculum are proven. “Lemonade Day works. You don't need to test it." These are profound statements from Jim Clifton, chairman and chief executive officer of Gallup. “Every child in the world can have the opportunity to enjoy the “sweet success” that comes with planning and launching a business of their own at an early age.”
I agree. Kids don’t have to do Lemonade Day to be successful, but we would love to have them experience our program. As a child, I remember the thrill of opening my first savings accounts and even though I was an entrepreneur from an early age, my savings account encouraged me to save so I could buy equipment for my business and things that I wanted, while also teaching me that withdrawing the money early came with a penalty as I lost out on compounding interest.
There are plenty of options available to parents and grandparents to save for their children’s education – 529 plans, investments, direct deposit into high-interest accounts, Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), and Child Savings Accounts (CSAs), to name a few. These are great and all viable options to explore.
I encourage every adult, every company, and every city (see what Boston is doing), county and state entity to engage our children in understanding budgeting and saving at an early age. Regardless of the option you choose, I firmly believe that we’re bettering our communities when we equip our kids, and ourselves, with financial skills.
I’d like to hear from you. What are some of your best tips to help your children save for their future?
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I welcome your comments and suggestions any time. Please email me at Steven@LemonadeDay.org.
For more information about Lemonade Day, please visit lemonadeday.org.