Graduating from the piggy bank to the savings account

Mélina is 6, and her piggy bank is ready to burst. Her parents are wondering whether it's time to open a savings account. They figure they'll have to do it someday.

Mélina's parents are not alone in asking this question. Even if there is no specific age for opening a savings account, it has been shown that around the age of 5, children already understand that they need money to buy things.

While piggy banks help teach children about saving, having their own account is a plus. It makes children feel all grown up. They have more responsibility and they feel more important.

Rose-Marie Lapointe, youth educational program advisor at Desjardins, summarizes the benefits of opening a savings account for children.

  1. Children will take great pride in having their own account at a “real” financial institution.
  2. They will be less tempted to withdraw money, particularly if they have specific plans in mind.
  3. They will see the money and interest accumulate over the months.
  4. They will be encouraged to develop good habits and make regular deposits.
  5. They know that their money, like their parents' money, is kept in a safe place.

The potential disadvantage, if there is one, is that children may be reluctant to see their money “disappear” from their piggy bank. “In this case, parents can suggest that children keep part of their savings in the piggy bank for short-term needs,” Ms. Lapointe says. “That way they develop their first notions of short-term and long-term savings.”

What is the role of the school caisse?

Many primary schools initiate students to the idea of saving with the school caisse. “The school caisse has existed since Desjardins Group was founded,” says Ms. Lapointe. “It was created by Alphonse Desjardins, who believed that the habit of saving should be developed at a young age. The caisses, which also have an educational mission, continued along this path.”

To do with children

Discover our educational activities on the circulation of money: