### Saving Early

by Chris BuzzardTo fight this trend, some schools are promoting financial literacy at a young age and even starting savings banks. At Sunrise Valley Elementary School in Fairfax, Va, students operate the Sunrise Valley Savings Bank, a school branch of a local bank. There is no minimum balance and student deposits earn 5% annual interest.

Elsewhere, educators and financial institutions have sprung into action, teaching kids about basic money management skills. Indirectly, students will be learning about the power of the time value of money. The TVM is a central topic in finance and revolves around the concept that a certain amount of money received today is worth more than the same amount received sometime in the future. A variety of factors including inflation and the choice to consume or save play a role in this.

The basic TVM equation solved for future value: FV = PV (1 + r)

^{n}, where PV is the present value of the amount, r is the interest rate, and n is how long the amount is invested. The story mentions how a ten-year-old student, Nate, is depositing a $5 bill. If Nate continues to earn 5% on his savings until he retires at age 65, that $5 deposit will be worth $73.18, doubling nearly four times. If Nate continues his practice of saving $2 a week until he retires, he would have $30,414 when he retires. This is a slightly more complicated calculation, because there is a periodic payment being made, but trust me it’s right!

1. Near the end of the article, 11-year-old student William says he wants to buy a new skateboard. What is his opportunity cost of saving for a new skateboard?

2. The Sunrise Valley Savings Bank pays its members 5% interest, but it is reasonable to assume students will get higher returns for their money in the future. How much will Nate’s $5 deposit be worth in 55 years if he earns 6% interest? 8%? 10%?

3. To see the importantce of teaching youths to save early, access this savings calculator. If a 10-year-old student saved $1 every day and deposited $365 at the end of each year from now until retirement (at age 65), how much would he/she have at retirement in 55 years? (Hint: Starting amount = $0; Years = 55; $365 additional contributions made annually; and a 10% rate of return compounded annually)

4. Use trial-and-error with the savings calculator to see what annual contributions another student would have to make if he/she didn’t start saving until the age of 55 (ten years from retirement) and wanted the same ending amount. (Hint: Change Years to 10 and try different values for additional contributions until you have about the same ending amount.)

Labels: Banking, Finance, Saving, Time Value of Money