Kidpreneurs Part One 

The financial world is changing all the time. Many Americans are now facing difficult situations because of the down economy.”The financial world has gotten so complex today. Whether it’s trying tothink about paying for your own college education, whether it’s thinkingabout saving for your first home or retirement.” Many financial experts say it’s becoming even more important to teach smart finances to our youth. “I think the sooner we can get kids started in thinking about how to usetheir math skills and critical thinking skills and apply them to thefinancial realm, the better off we’re going to be as a society.” They say there are great materials out there to help with that. “I think kids, like all of us, they learn by doing. So one of ourprograms we’ve gotten involved with that we’re most excited about it,actually working with young and middle-aged kids on doing their ownlemonade stand.” The program is called Lemonade Day Maine, sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank. “So they start by reading how to get their goals in regards to, what do Iwant my lemonade stand to be? Then they talk about planning and budgetingand then finding an investor. So they learn if they don’t have the moneyto start it, then they have to ask for it and it talks about how you payinterest back to the person you’re borrowing from.” “You might make a hundred dollars or two-hundred, but how do you thinkabout planning the business, having a budget for the business and figuringout what to sell your lemonade for. Also paying off your investors, whatyou want to do with the money afterward? In terms of saving or givingback or spending it.” Lemonade Day was founded in Texas in 2007. It cameto Maine this year. More than 800 children took part. They’rehoping for more than 1,000 in 2012 and making it statewide by 2014. “We need to build a more sustainable country and more specifically myfocus in Maine because we’re over 90 percent small businesses.” Kate Gooding, Executive Director of Youth Entrepreneurship Adventures,says she knows programs like this will help build Maine’s economy. “Well the more we teach them at a young age, we have seen proof instudies how these kids just absorb everything. At a young age they arealso bigger risk takers and so they learn about money at a young age theycan develop that so they can be better budget managers as they grow older.” Bangor Savings Bank offers a Great Start Savings account for children. “There’s a little bit of a starter incentive from the bank and a littlebit of a match from the bank for kids that are in that, which gets themthinking about steadily contributing to a bank account.So what can you do as parents to help your children understand theseconcepts? “Just understanding there’s no free lunch, understanding if somethingsounds too good to be true, it probably is. I think having thoseconversations with your kids, rather they’re seeing promotions ontelevision or rather their reading about financial news, why are thingshappening? As parents, just like in every other era you don’t always knowall the answers, let alone know how to convey them to your kids, buthaving those conversations, trying to tie it to their schoolwork.”