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Elmo Teaches Kids About Saving Money

This article was written by in Personal Finance. 10 comments.


I have many things in common with my friends in the same age range as myself. Among these shared experiences that define a generation, for the most part, we all watched Sesame Street as children. When we reminisce, we remember Mr. Hooper. We remember when Big Bird was the only character to be able to see Mr. Snuffleupagus. Our Sesame Street golden age was before the Rise of Elmo and before Sesame Street began catering to the development needs of toddlers.

Elmo, however, has been more involved with important social issues than any other character on the television show for kids. He has been promoting financial literacy for at least a decade, helping adults teach children about responsible relationships with money. He is also the only non-human to testify before Congress. Today, Elmo has teamed up with Beth Kobliner, author and member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, to teach kids about making better purchasing decisions and saving money.

This latest initiative is tied to Financial Literacy Month. Although personal finance is Consumerism Commentary’s topic every month of the year, each April, various organizations participate in initiatives to raise awareness of the need for financial literacy, and the need for young people to learn how to create a positive approach towards money. Sesame Street has often been a great help to parents introducing new concepts to their children.

Watch the Sesame Street videos, titled “For Me, For You, For Later,” featuring Elmo and Beth Kobliner here. The videos will work best with conversations with parents. For example, the segment in which Elmo is swayed by marketing for the Stupendous Ball could be used to help kids see through advertising claims and frivolous “features,” but will only be possible with some additional guidance, because the segment is focused on saving for expensive purchases, and in the end, sharing and settling for what might be a better deal. Videos like these can be effective gateways to the right direction for kids, but the messages will be lost if children don’t have positive role models in real life.

Published or updated April 13, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

This is a really great thing. Lucky for me my first job was at a bank. So many adults don’t even understand compounded interest or amortization charts. Our schools are really lacking in this area.

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avatar Hunter

Thanks for this post. Education is the key to so many problems. It’s great to see Elmo lend his broad appeal to the financial literacy cause. I had the opportunity to see Elmo perform with Katy Perry recently. It was pretty hot, but I don’t understand all the controversy from Moms groups, really. The fuss gave it all a lot more exposure than otherwise.

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avatar Cejay ♦1,521 (Half-Dollar)

This is a wonderful idea. I love the idea that kids will be taught how to be financially stable from an early age. Elmo might have a chance of getting through to them.

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avatar wylerassociate ♦162 (Cent)

I think this is an excellent idea having elmo & sesame street characters teaching kids about financial literacy. Financial literacy needs to be a lifelong learning for children as they grow up.

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avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

Your last sentence sums it up nicely: “…but the messages will be lost if children don’t have positive role models in real life.” However, if Elmo can succeed where parents fail, I’m all for it. Actually, I’m for ANYTHING that teaches kids how to manage money wisely. You go, Elmo!

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avatar tbork84 ♦1,867 (Half-Dollar)

Maybe those parents could actually learn a bit too from Elmo as strange as it may sound. It is never to late to learn better financial habits.

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avatar Evan

Wait a minute – Big Bird was the only one that could see the elephant guy? I don’t think I ever knew that lol

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

yeah, you said it. how did i watch this show myself…and with my younger family members over the years and never know this? yikes

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

this is the kind of thing this country has needed for some time. the key is to build on these ideas as these children get older. i think with a few simple personal finance classes in school, many people would be so much better off for the rest of their lives.

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avatar faithfueledbennetts ♦264 (Nickel)

This is awesome! Knowledge is power, so the more children can know about spending money in an effective way, the less the chance they will be taken advantage of. I don’t think it is ever too early to start educating kids about finances-Go Elmo!

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