Ben Franklin shows up to help Omaha kids learn how to handle money

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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 12:00 am

Fourth-graders at Omaha's Hartman Elementary got a lesson on spending and saving money Friday morning from the face of the $100 bill, Benjamin Franklin.

The visit from Franklin, accompanied by State Treasurer Don Stenberg and officials from First National Bank, kicked off the Teach Children to Save program, where children learn the basics of earning money, setting a budget and developing a three-part plan to save, share and spend.

The character will visit 16 schools throughout the Omaha area and Lincoln through the end of April.

Franklin asked the children to define money, went over the benefits of spending and saving money, the difference between wants and needs and the importance of saving money in a bank.

“I think habits learned early tend to stick with young people when they get older,” Stenberg said. “When you get young people learning early on, that's a habit that will carry over into their adult lives.”

The children also heard from First National Bank Senior Vice President Stephen Wade, who spoke about college savings plans, known as 529 Plans for the section of the Internal Revenue Service code that allows tax-advantaged investments for future higher education expenses.

As part of the savings initiative, the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust 529 Plan is offering a drawing. Five students who open new NEST college savings accounts with a special promo code will receive a $529 scholarship. The winners' schools will also receive a $250 donation. More information is available at NEST529.com.

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