BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
WOODS CROSS — Fourth grade is a perfect time to learn about managing and saving money, according to Daniel Dixon.
Dixon and his wife, Suzanne Dixon, spent part of a morning April 23, talking to fourth graders at Woods Cross Elementary about the difference between spending and saving, between needing and wanting.
“It’s amazing how fast money can grow when you start at your age,” said Daniel Dixon, a senior vice president at Zions Bank.
Employees of the bank took time on National Teach Children To Save Day to reach out to more than 1,200 students at schools throughout Davis County.
One survey showed that parents are more comfortable talking about bullying, drugs and relationship than family finances or investing, according to a press release.
To help in the discussion, Zions Bank has developed a website called Financialize By 18, with workshops and video games to help instruct children and teens about money management.
The Dixons told students the story of two brothers, one of whom worked and saved, while the other worked and spent.
With a worksheet and a little bit of math, students discovered that even if one makes more money, he won’t be able to make a large purchase if he spends more.
“It’s easy to spend on lots of little things,” said Daniel Dixon. “It’s much more difficult to save money for something we want.”
By saving their money, said Suzanne Dixon, a literacy coach and reading specialist at Woods Cross, she and her husband were able to help their children get through college, with enough money left over to take a trip to China.
Employees of WEX Bank of Midvale will visit students at Burton Elementary in Kaysville in May, also in conjunction with Teach Children To Save Day.
“This program gives us the opportunity to use life experiences and banking knowledge to motivate students to become lifelong savers,” said Dan Simpson, corporate credit manager at WEX.
A parent can set a good example of money management, “by paying bills on time, being a conscientious spender and an active saver,” according to the release.
It also advised parents to communicate values and experiences related to money with their children, and to start savings accounts for them.