MARINETTE — One of the largest efforts to educate the nation’s youth about the importance of good money habits is Teach Children to Save (TCTS) Day. The Stephenson National Bank & Trust (SNBT) employees set out into the community’s schools to spread the message to young people about the importance of saving money.

SNBT bankers gave 12 presentations, teaching over 280 children about positive money habits. Presentations focus on giving real-world examples to which students can relate. Through hands-on activities, students learn important concepts such as wants versus needs, rainy-day funds and simple budgeting. One such lesson teaches the students the importance of saving money by dividing them into families. Each family earns a set income and is presented with financial decisions a normal family would have. They also face unexpected expenses that force them to decide what to give up in order stay on budget.

“Setting the foundation for financial literacy early is important in today’s fast-paced world,” said Diane St. Martin, office manager and personal banker for the Menominee Office at SNBT. “Not only does learning financial concepts early help students form good money habits, but it also prepares them for the more complex lessons that can have a major impact on their adult lives.”

TCTS Day is a national effort in which bankers across the nation engage in as a way to utilize their knowledge to help address the lack of financial knowledge.

SNBT offers the following tips for raising money-smart kids:

■ Talk openly about money with kids. Communicate values and experiences — both good and bad; encourage them to ask questions, and be prepared to answer them — even the tough ones.

■ Open a savings account for children and take them with when deposits are made so they can learn how to be hands-on in their money management.

■ Set the example by paying bills on time, being a conscientious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.

■ Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value of saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so.

■ Let friends and family know about the child’s savings goal. They’ll be more likely to give cash for special occasions, which means more trips to the bank.

People may learn more at the Teach Children to Save website: www.teachchildrentosave.com.