For Savings 101, Send Your Kid to Sesame Street

elmoHow do you teach money lessons so that kids will stop throwing Fruity Pebbles long enough to understand them?

If Elmo didn’t top your list of options, you may want to watch his financial debut. For Me, For You, For Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing and Saving, is a new 10-part video series on that launches today, starring the fuzzy red muppet and financial expert Beth Kobliner, author of Get a Financial Life.

Producers hope that by showing Elmo dealing with pint-size money problems, youngsters will absorb financial basics about spending, saving and “sharing,” i.e. contributing money to important causes.

In one segment, Elmo is smitten with a dazzling “Stupendous Ball,” but it costs $5 and he only has $1. So he learns how to earn and save money so he can buy it. In others, real kids tackle and talk about similar issues with their families.

Across the website, parents and teachers can download free guides for more info and tips for answering tough questions like, "How do you buy stuff with that card?" One million hard copies of these kits are also available at PNC Bank branches. (PNC sponsored this project.)

While there are numerous other financial literacy programs out there, Elmo’s massive kid appeal could inspire tots (and maybe their parents) to put some good habits into practices, says George Barany, Director of Financial Education with the America Saves Campaign.

Elmo gets it. How did you learn about spending and saving when you were a kid?

Join the Discussion