Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Follow Up - Fun With PNC's 'S' is For Savings!

Almost 2 months ago I shared with you a little bit about PNC Bank's ‘S’ is For Savings Account - a fun, friendly, and free online learning experience to help little ones learn about saving! Carina has recently begun showing an interest in numbers and "counting" (I use quotes there because while she can say the numbers 1 through 10 in order, I don't think she actually understands what they mean) so I thought it would be fun to spend some time learning and playing with PNC's new account, and I'd like to tell you what we think!

But first, a little background: the ‘S’ is For Savings Account is designed for children and parents to use together in a lap-learning fashion. With the assistance of their favorite Sesame Street characters, children will learn about saving, spending, giving, the value of things, and making smart financial choices. Here's what the account includes, and our thoughts on some of the features:
  • An interactive online banking experience that allows you and your child to set goals for spending, sharing, and saving. Kids can even drag and drop their money into virtual jars. Carina enjoyed watching as I explained to her what I was doing as I dragged money into the virtual jars (below). She counted along with me, too. I let her try herself, but she just banged on the keyboard. This will be fun to play with in the future, once she is able to do it herself ;)
Dragging the money to the different jars
What you see when you click on one of the jars
  • A Learning Center to further explore savings concepts through video and audio clips, fun activities, and tips from Sesame Street. This is Carina's favorite part of the online experience so far. She LOVES watching all of the Elmo video clips that accompany most of the mini-lessons. After she views each one she demands, "more MELMO!"
The Learning Center with mini-lessons
Carina watching one of the clips: "more MELMO!"
  • The option to create a separate login, allowing you and your child to enter the experience directly, without access to your other PNC Bank accounts

  • Interest on balances starting at $1.00

  • Just $25 minimum balance to open and no service charge for account holders under 18

  • An Auto Savings tool that lets you start a routine to help your child achieve their savings goals. Parents can transfer money from their own account using this feature - online allowance! This will be fun to utilize once we start giving Carina an allowance in the future.
Interactive game that lets you collect virtual money to be divided among jars
The account and online experience is geared towards preschool age children, but the concepts are useful up to age 8 as well. Carina is on the young side, but she enjoyed listening to me read her the tips and watching the clips for now. I think the interactive activities will help her (and any child) to develop an understanding of sharing, saving, and spending at an early age.

If you're interested in learning more about PNC Bank's ‘S’ is For Savings Account or would like to set up your own, visit your local PNC Bank branch, contact their call center, or visit their website at

Do you think that teaching your little ones about money and saving is important? At what age did you (or will you) begin giving your child an allowance?

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