A penny saved is a penny earned


The vault monitor, left, keeps track of deposits to the Penny Vault.

The Penny Vault teaches the value of responsibility, one penny at a time.

As Ben Franklin once so wisely put it, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

For the husband-and-wife team of Teri Moyers and Alan Frisher, a penny also provides a way to teach character, responsibility and work ethic. Teri Moyers and Alan Frisher teamed up to create Penny Vault, a program to teach students to set financial goals.

“Children sometimes have a feeling of entitlement and don’t think they have to do anything,” Frisher said.

Moyers, a fourth grade teacher at Creel Elementary School in Melbourne, and Frisher, a financial advisor with Sage Financial Management in Melbourne, wanted to do their part to change that pattern of thought, so the couple teamed up to create Penny Vault, a character-building program Frisher and Moyers anticipates will go national.

An actual little vault, a small storage cabinet that mimics a bank vault, is at the core of the program, which includes lesson plans so elementary school teachers can incorporate the vault into their curriculum. Children put pennies in the vault as they successfully earn money for a goal, be it a class trip or a school T-shirt. 

Parents are asked to be engaged and encouraging as their students complete chores at home to earn money toward the goal. With each dollar the student earns, the child deposits a penny in the vault at school to represent the dollar that has been saved for the goal, so the student has a visual reminder of how much their personal efforts are contributing to achieving the goal. A vault monitor logs the deposit.

The Penny Vault also teaches students that money is not a limitless resource and that setting financial priorities is a part of life. As an added bonus, Penny Vault lessons also help instill in children the need to work for the good of the community and to give back.

“It teaches kids about citizenship and charity,” Frisher said.

Still in its pilot stage, Penny Vault has been taken under the wing of Suntree Rotary, which has awarded the organization a grant to help place Penny Vaults in local schools. Individual vaults cost $49.95 and can be purchased online. 

“It doesn’t take a lot of time to teach these skills,” Moyers said. 

“The kids want to feel responsible. It gives them a sense of achievement.”

For more information, call 321-802-8900 or see thepennyvault.org.