Financially savvy kids

Financially savvy kids

Teaching kids about money as early as possible is one of the best ways to set them up for a good financial future.

According to recent ABS data, almost one in five (17 percent) Australian children start school without basic skills like counting to 20 and recognising numbers. RateCity is determined to improve this statistic through easy to follow and engaging programs for parents and children.

The below videos form part of a bigger online program being developed at RateCity to assist parents seeking a better financial education for thier children.

RateCity’s cartoon, and video series for parents, provides creative ideas on how to engage children in the money conversation and raise financially-savvy kids!


Tinka and the Scooter

Understanding money isn’t just about learning how to deposit money or plan a budget. It’s about valuing what we have and making choices about what we need and what we want.

RateCity’s first cartoon is narrated by a turtle called Tinka who talks directly to young children about long-term goals in a way they will understand.

Watch as Tinka learns to save her pocket money – and go without her favourite chocolate fish – to buy a scooter!


Guides for parents

Episode 1: Getting started on saving pocket money

Kids want the latest stuff even more than we do – whether it’s iPads, bikes or toys. That’s why it’s really important to help them understand that things cost money and that money doesn’t grow on trees.

We get asked all the time about when to start teaching kids to save, the truth is it’s never too early to start.

A great way to start teaching kids the value of money is to introduce pocket money. Watch episode 1 as RateCity’s Ali Cassim shares her top tips for getting started on saving pocket money.


Episode 2: Understanding money

With the cost of living so high, living within your means can be tough. And it’s only going to get harder for our kids. So it’s more important than ever to make sure they are financially savvy from a young age.

Kids who develop great financial skills early on are more likely to be ready for the financial challenges of adulthood.

In the second episode, Ali Cassim talks about how parents can help kids understand where money comes from with real-life examples.


Episode 3: Opening a kid’s savings account

Setting up a savings account for kids is a great way to teach them about the importance of saving.

Educational experts say that kids learn best about money between the ages of 8 and 12, so many of the children’s accounts are designed for this age group and above.

However, the earlier you can talk to kids about saving and spending money responsibly the better prepared they will be to manage their own money.

In episode 3, Ali Cassim shares her top tips for getting started with a children’s savings account.

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Learn more about savings accounts

How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

Can you set up direct debits from a savings account?

It’s not usually possible to set up a direct debit from your savings account to cover ongoing expenses or bills, as savings accounts are structured around growing your wealth by earning interest on regular deposits, and discouraging withdrawals.

Some transaction accounts allow you to set up direct debits and also earn interest, though you may not enjoy as much flexibility as a dedicated transaction account, or get as high an interest rate as a dedicated savings account.

Can you direct deposit to a savings account?

Yes. You can make one off payments or set up regular direct deposits into a savings account. This can be organised easily through online banking or by making deposits in a branch. Talk to your lender to find out the easiest way for you to set up direct deposits.

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

How to open a savings account for my child?

Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.

Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.

Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to know who currently has the highest interest rate is to use a savings account comparison tool.

How does interest work on savings accounts?

The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency. 

Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.

What is the interest rate on savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to look at interest rates on savings accounts is to use a savings accounts comparison tool. When you look at the savings rate check what the maximum and minimum rates are. Often banks will offer you a promotional rate for the first few months which is competitive, but then revert back to a base rate which can sometimes be less than inflation. Ongoing bonus rates are often a safer bet as they will keep rewarding you with the maximum rate, provided you meet their criteria

Can I overdraft my savings account?

A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.

Can you have a joint savings account?

Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.

Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.

Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly. 

What is a good interest rate for a savings account?

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

A good rule of thumb when working out a minimum balance for your savings account is to make sure that you’ll earn more in annual interest on your savings than what you’ll be charged in annual fees.

If you’re saving with a specific goal in mind, prepare a budget so the interest you earn on your deposits will help you efficiently reach this goal. Online financial calculators may be helpful here.