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Real Stories

Types of Savings

Materials Needed:
"Types of Savings," visual aids of facilitator's choosing

The facilitator should locate articles or ads from magazines, newspapers or internet sources for traditional bank savings options, high yield online savings options, certificates of deposit, money market funds, mutual funds and I Bonds. These will be your "visual aids." (Alternative: print each of these terms on large pieces of cardboard or chart paper.)

The facilitator should begin this activity by asking the following questions:

  1. In the story segment, "Start Saving," financial expert, Beth Kobliner said: "…people need to have a set savings cushion… The key is to save three months’ worth of living expenses in that fund." Why does she recommend this?
  2. Why can't you just save money under a mattress? Why must you find safe places to save your money?
  3. Have you ever researched different savings options, especially high-yield options?

Next, hold up, project or distribute each of your "visual aids," one at a time, and ask participants to:

  • Identify what each one is
  • Briefly explain what it represents as a savings option

Then, the facilitator should divide the large group into smaller groups of three or four individuals. Ask participants to discuss in their small groups, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of savings option. Large group discussion should follow.

After the discussion has been completed, the facilitator should direct participants to move back to their individual places. Distribute copies of "Types of Savings."

The facilitator should then direct participants to list items under each category of savings reflecting their personal needs or wants.

Facilitator Tip: You may wish to give some examples to get the participants started, such as car repair and cell phone bills.

Next to each item listed, the participant should identify an appropriate savings option. Tell participants to be ready to defend their choices. Allow participants time to complete individual charts and then ask for or select volunteers to share information.

The facilitator should conclude this activity with the following questions:

  1. Why is it important to know whether interest paid on any type of savings account will be simple or compounded?
  2. What is the significance of compounded interest?
  3. Why is it important to select a savings option based on short- or long-term goals?