When I was 10 years old, my parents instituted an “allowance program” where I would receive a weekly base pay of $4.00 that could be adjusted up or down based on my performance output for the week. Under the allowance program, it took me eight months to earn $100.00. True to my precocious nature, I called up my stock broker uncle and asked him to help me pick a stock. I bought 30 shares of stock in a freighting company, and three years later the company’s stock split and I earned almost $300.00. At this point, I was 14 years old and had dropped my Future Business Leaders of America shtick for hanging out at the mall and flirting with the lacrosse boys. I held on to my $300 for less than two hours before impulsively buying a $290.00 Kate Spade purse that was all the rage in 1997. That was my first introduction to money: destroying four years of financial prudence in ten minutes for a fleeting desire.

I think it’s safe to say I’ve honed my finance skills in the last decade-and-a-half.  Now I have little ones of my own and I think about how I’ll introduce them to money-management.  Sure, they already get the coupon-concept, but what about the rest?  One option is an ING Kids Savings Accont—a kid-friendly bank account that teaches kids how to save their money the safe and responsible way. This account has no fees, no minimums, and the money is FDIC-insured. As of January 2012, this account has a 0.80% variable Annual Percentage—your kids will love seeing their money grow!

Here’s what kids can do with their account:

  • Check their balance
  • Change their personal info
  • Change their PIN
  • Change their account nickname
  • Create a “personalized” Saver ID
  • Download their account history, tax forms, and eStatements

Here’s what adults can do with their kid’s account:

  • Everything their kids can do
  • Sign in to the account with their own ID and PIN to transfer money, set up an Automatic Savings Plan (perfect for paying allowance), and manage account details
  • Close the account

Here’s how to open an ING Kids Savings Account:

  • Click Here to get started.
  • Click on the orange “Open Now” button.
  • Enter your personal information, agree to the Terms and Conditions, make an electronic deposit from your current checking account, review your information and then click on the “Submit” button. You can open and fund your Kids Saving Account in less than 5 minutes—it’s that easy!

By the way, does anyone want a “vintage” Kate Spade purse—I’m listing mine on eBay. I kid, I kid . . . I haven’t seen that bag in over a decade. Live and Learn. Live and Learn.