Financial ABC's

Triplets, Jacob, Benjamin, and Julia Fein-Ashley open a bank account CBS

Eight-year old triplets Jacob, Benjamin and Julia Fein-Ashley do just about everything together.

So today, they opened up savings accounts together as CBS News Correspondent Kelly Wallace reports.

The bank is a part of an unusual summer camp in Denver, Colorado.

Instead of soccer and swimming, 2nd and 3rd graders learn about money.

For many of these kids, the camp is not pretend play.

Nearly three-quarters of the students knows someone who's lost a job.

Julia says she's seen her mother struggle a bit this year, saying, "she always uses like coupons."

Their mother is Nancy Fein, a realtor whose business was down 50 percent last year. Separated, Nancy had to move in with her mother and wants her children to learn how to be financially independent.

"If you learn young, they'll have a lifetime of knowledge of how to plan for the future and they'll probably be better off," she said.

Only 3 states require high school students take a financial education course. Eighteen others require personal finance be taught during other subjects. In the rest of the country, nothing is mandated.

High school principal Jermain Kamau said, "we're struggling as a country and it's a byproduct of people's lack of education when it comes to financial literacy. So this is critical for our students."

Kamau brought an innovative video game called EverFi to his school in Trenton, New Jersey.

Students earn and spend in a virtual world, coping with the unexpected like a broken cell phone while saving for college. The object is not to go broke.

"It's teaching me how to manage my money instead of spending everything," said Korey Thompson, a student there.

The program taught Shanetta Francis to hold off on getting a credit card. When she gets credit card solicitations now, she throws them in the trash.

A good idea, when you consider that 62 percent of college seniors have four or more credit cards,
and only 59 percent of 18 to 29 year olds pay their bills on time every month.

It's not easy changing attitudes of a generation bombarded by ads since birth but they're getting a different message now.

The bad economy is a good life lesson. Kids believe playing with money now will make them smarter with money when they're grown up.

CBS MoneyWatch: What Your Kids Need to Know About Money
  • Kelly Wallace

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