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Financial savvy at age 12

By Terry Savage on April 26, 2012

Charlie Tiseo is one money-smart kid. The 12-year-old sixth-grader at Still Middle School in Aurora won the essay competition with a piece titled “The Curious Case of Benjamin Budget.”

In the essay, a take-off on the movie, he follows some wise advice: “Mind your budget, boy” – and grows wealthy as he ages.

Charles, who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in Naperville, is in the gifted program at his school. He gives particular credit to Junior Achievement for teaching him and his classmates about the economy and money. But lest you think he spends all his time studying, he’s quick to point out that he’s active in sports, plays the trombone in the band, and has earned many merit badges in Boy Scouts – including the “personal finance” merit badge!

But there’s something in the genes, as well. Charlie’s father is a financial adviser in the wealth management division of a major firm, and his mother is a corporate treasurer. So it’s no wonder he says he’s been “a saver for quite a while,” and he likes to watch the news “to see how it affects the economy.”

Charlie has an entrepreneurial inclination, and is planning to start a business after he finishes college. What kind of business? He figures he’ll figure out what consumers want, and start marketing and selling a product.

Charlie Tiseo is living proof that, if you expose children to good money habits and teach them about the basics of personal finance, you’ll wind up with one very Money Smart Kid!

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