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‘Tis the Season to Teach Children About Money

Wells Fargo offers ways to keep holiday spending under control

SAN FRANCISCO - November 28, 2011

Before you and your kids start checking off the holiday shopping list this season, give your kids the gift that keeps on giving - teach them the importance of financial education. Parents, who plan ahead and teach their children good financial habits before they start shopping, will avoid added holiday stress by keeping spending under control. Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) is offering six ways to help parents to prepare their kids for the holiday shopping season.

“As young people become more and more active as consumers, we need to make sure that they become responsible spenders and savers, and learn how to manage their money,” said Angel Zapata, senior vice president, National Manager for Wells Fargo Foundation’s Office of Financial Education. “This holiday season is a great opportunity to do this, as parents and grandparents can incorporate financial education into something fun like holiday gift shopping.”

These simple tips can help keep your spending on track while teaching your kids financial habits that they can use year-round.

Make a budget and stick to it. Take a look at last January’s credit card bills and your bank account records. This year, set a total figure – and stick to it. Help your children understand this year’s priorities and your budget, and get their thoughts. Spending alerts, via mobile or email, keep customers informed about debit/credit card spending, so they don’t lose track of how much they are spending during the holidays. Also, make your purchases using a widely accepted gift card pre-loaded with the total amount you want to spend, and when the card is maxed-out, stop spending. Wells Fargo Visa Gift cards are accepted anywhere Visa® debit cards are accepted in the U.S. Plus, they are more secure than certificates, checks, or cash since lost cards can be replaced and there are no monthly fees or lost value.

“Edit” your gift list. Have a frank talk with your friends and family. You may be surprised how willing they are to pare down their gift lists, limit gift-giving to home-cooked treats or throw a holiday pot-luck get-together in lieu of gifts. A thoughtful gift doesn’t have to mean expensive. If you have a large family, consider drawing names – at least among the older children and adults – so each family member gives to just one person.

• Open a bank account — this year, give your kids the gift of savings. Savings and checking accounts are great ways to get your kids on the right financial track. Teach them how to make deposits and withdrawals, keep an account register and balance the account.

  • It’s never too early to teach children about the value of saving. Open an account in their name with as little as $25.
  • For teens, Wells Fargo offers Teen Checking for ages 13 to 17 with an adult co-owner, specifically designed to help parents teach their teenagers good money management skills.
  • For everyone, Wells Fargo offers the Ways2Save Savings account. Customers can make deposits anytime/anywhere and utilize My Savings Plan to help them track their savings goals. Ways2Save Savings also offers a variety of automatic savings options designed to help you develop regular savings habits and meet your financial goals today and in the future.

Use free resources to teach financial education — There are many free and reputable places where you can find more helpful guidance to teach children about saving and finances. Wells Fargo offers Hands on Banking®, a free, fun, interactive money management program. The Hands on Banking program ( teaches the money skills needed for all stages of life – from youth to the teen years to young adulthood to adulthood. It is also available in Spanish as the El futuro en tus manos® program. The Hands on Banking curriculum for school-age students meets or exceeds national and state education standards for economics, financial education, mathematics and English language arts. Wells Fargo also offers a children’s financial success resource center ( that helps parents plan for their child’s financial future.

Keep focused when you shop – Teach your children to avoid impulse buys. With advertising and sales enticing you to buy, it’s easy to go overboard. Especially for larger purchases, think it over for 24 hours. Be confident that this is an item that you really need and can afford.

Make a plan to start saving for next year — Starting with your first paycheck – and your kids’ first allowance – of 2012 and set aside a specific amount for deposit into a savings account. Start saving now and you could have your holiday shopping money saved before the first decorations hit the stores.

This year, make a holiday resolution to keep spending on track and start the New Year on the right financial foot – for everyone in the family. It’s a great gift for you and for your kids – and it won’t cost a dime.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet ( and, and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

Lisa Westermann

Jim Rowe