In The Avengers, the Marvel-inspired movie being released in theaters today, super powers will undoubtedly save the day. But in the real world, it’s saving money that often saves the day.
That’s the lesson in the new Marvel project called “Avengers: Saving the Day.” And this isn’t just any comic book: It’s a financial literacy project aimed at getting kids acquainted with the basics of saving, borrowing and investing.
Avengers Comic for Financial Literacy
The colorful Avengers comics are available both in print and online at www.practicalmoneyskills.com, and represent a collaboration between Marvel and Visa, part of Visa’s 17-year effort to educate kids about basic financial concepts. So while Spider-Man, Thor and the other good guys battle Mole Man and his crew of subterranean monsters in their attempt at a bank heist, they also learn some important lessons along the way.
In homage to today’s blockbuster movie release, let’s take a few swipes at our money mistakes — and a giant leap forward in our financial literacy — with these Marvel-inspired lessons on crime and coin. They may be simple, but they aren’t just for kids.
The Avengers Teach Kids (and Their Parents) About Money
“Banks do more than house money.” – Iron Man
Kids often think of a bank much like a piggy bank — a big vault full of money. But adults know it’s more than that, right? As Iron Man explains in Avengers: Saving the Day, banks can help consumers manage, save and invest their money. And, for those who are just getting into investing or have limited funds, the local bank may be the most accessible and realistic option for these services.
According to 2009 statistics from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, 15 percent of adults have no bank account whatsoever, which means they’re losing out on the opportunity to collect interest — not to mention protect their cash against temptation, theft and bank-robbing subterranean monsters.
“Setting a budget helps keep me from blowing my spy paycheck on a pair of shoes — or a lipstick that fires high-power tranquilizer darts.” – Black Widow
Now that’s a sentiment any budget-conscious consumer can relate to…well, almost. In fact, this super-spy is very conscious about money and how to use it to her advantage. That’s why she sets aside 40 percent of her pay for necessities, 20 percent for clothes and reserves the rest for weapons — and weapons that look like jewellery (one for every outfit?).
That’s smart thinking for a young career woman — or anyone — to follow. Especially when you consider that 49 percent of adults have trouble keeping up with monthly expenses, according to the Department of the Treasury. So whether you’re saving up to save the world or just your own skin, planning your expenses can provide the ammunition you need.
“Asgardians save their treasures as well. After all, we are immortal.” – Thor
Is there social security in the magical realm of Asgard? The Asgardian Thor isn’t taking any chances. Living forever is a big financial responsibility, but it also means major benefits thanks to the power of interest and compound returns.
Getting something for nothing? Your spidey-senses should be all over that, yet 58 percent of Americans have never saved for retirement, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“After all the times my super powers saved me, saving saved the day.” – Spider-Man
You’d think a superhero of Spider-Man’s caliber would be able to power his way out of any trouble, whether felonious of financial. As it turns out, he has to work a day job (as a photographer at The Daily Bugle) and save and invest his money like the rest of us. Not everyone can have super-human strength, but a solid savings account is within every mortal’s reach.
The new Avengers movie is sure to be packed with action, but then battling personal financial foes like debt, overspending and lack of savings is no picnic either. Who will save the day? That’s up to you. But if all else fails, you can always call on the Hulk.