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Making Change Count -- Literally!

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The Boys and Girls Club of America and the Charles Schwab Foundation are teaming up for the Making Change Count campaign, which teaches teens to make healthy financial decisions now and in the future.
Teens and their parents can go online and take the pledge to save money, spend wisely, plan for college and share what they learn with family and friends.

We sat down with Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of the Charles Schwab Foundation, to talk about the program and why it's never too early to learn about financial responsibility.

ml: Tell us why making this pledge is important right now.

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz:
Too many people don't know how to make good financial choices, whether that's avoiding credit cards as "income extenders," steering clear of paycheck-cashing services because of their high fees or just not understanding the difference between needs vs. wants. By encouraging today's teens to take some small, doable steps toward financial fitness, we hope to create a groundswell of positive change that will last for generations to come.

ml: What does the pledge involve?

Just visit and click on the "pledge" button. By doing that, teens commit to save money, spend wisely, plan for college and share what they know. There are resources available on the site for help in taking those four important steps.

ml: What's the biggest aspect of fiscal responsibility that kids don't get?

Determining the difference between needs vs. wants. And secondly, understanding how to live within their means, whether that's making decisions on how they're spending their allowance or how they're spending their paycheck. Gaining an understanding of these concepts early on, as well as learning the discipline of saving money, will help today's youth for a lifetime.

ml: How can parents encourage their kids to be responsible and help them stay true to the pledge?

They can always model good financial behavior themselves, leading by example! We have some great resources and tips for parents on our educational website,

next: Newsflash: I'm Not a 'Christian Hypocrite'
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