Beyond Your Piggy Bank

by C.C. Owens

You pass them every day, quiet little buildings with empty parking lots. People rush by them heading to McDonald’s or the grocery store, but every once in a while a person enters. What is this mysterious place? A bank.

If you’ve never visited one, it may not be what you expect. There are no piles of money on the floor, no rows of piggy banks lining the walls. They’re fairly boring places if you don’t know the secret. You see banks hide the hum of money at work.

Your home piggy bank will hold your money, but the amount will never change unless you add to it or take some away. The bank down the street will help you grow your money, even if you never put another dime in it.

How do banks do this? They put your money to work. When you open a savings account, the bank owners pay you for allowing them to keep your money. They haven’t taken your money, you can retrieve it at any time, but while they have it, they use it to help other people.

If someone wants to buy a house or a car, they come to the bank. The bank loans them money and the people pay it back with interest. (Remember our credit card discussion? Whenever people borrow or use someone else’s money, they have to pay a fee: interest.) The more money you and others save in the bank, the more people the bank can help. It then pays you part of the interest it receives for using your money. That’s how banks put your money to work.

So when you save money in a bank, you’re not only growing your money but also helping others improve their lives. People can buy cars to get to work and homes to raise their families. The people pay the bank, and the bank pays you.

Ask your parents if you can take a trip to your local bank. Most banks have accounts for young savers that will let you get started with a parent’s signature and a small amount of money.

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C.C. Owens uses her experience as a teacher to encourage her readers in simple, practical ways. She has two articles featured in the Love Is a Verb Devotions anthology (Bethany House) to be released this fall. Her current writing projects include a women’s fiction novel and several children’s stories.

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