How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

If the elephant in the room is saving money, the same answer applies. Start small and keep at it. My daughter hadn’t shown much interest in saving money until she opened a Dollar Up Savings account. Something clicked and I enjoyed watching her take an interest in saving.

She enjoyed the way a few cents here and there add up and before she knew it, she had saved $50 without even trying. And I knew she was really invested in the way it built up because when the credit union transferred the funds at the end of the quarter, she was panicked. “What happened to my Dollar Up money?” she asked.

In addition to starting small, another key component to begin making saving money a healthy habit is to make it automatic. My daughter didn’t have to do anything other than her normal activity of being a teenager, so it became easy for her to see her savings build. It is something we’ve set up for her on a 529 Plan as well. We set up a monthly automatic transfer to her college savings and we show her how it has built up over the years.

My hope is that we’ve given her two strategies to make her a successful saver after she graduates and joins the workforce. We’ve already started talking about retirement savings and opening a Roth IRA as soon as she turns 18, if she decides to work while in college. Then she can learn the wonderful lesson of compounding.




The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous because his teenager would likely not want her father writing this post.

The opinions expressed on this page are those of the credit union’s Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors, staff members and other authors and may not reflect the views of the credit union. Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of each article.