Teaching kids about money isn't rocket science

ING DIRECT launches contest for kids, summer savings tips for parents

TORONTO, June 21 /CNW/ - ING DIRECT wants to get more kids and their parents talking about money and is encouraging them to visit Planet Orange(TM) (www.orangekids.ca), an interactive web experience for children using rocket ships and an outer space theme that makes learning about money entertaining and educational. And this summer, by exploring Planet Orange, kids get a chance to win great prizes in a first-ever Planet Orange contest, while learning more about how money works.

"We want to help kids learn that saving money can be fun," says Peter Aceto, President & CEO of ING DIRECT. "On Planet Orange, kids get to play a number of adventure games that help them discover the importance and value of money. We believe that exploring the concepts of earning, spending and saving in a virtual world will go a long way in preparing kids for their real world savings adventures."

Planet Orange, launched by ING DIRECT last September, features Amy and Cedric, two astronauts that children can choose to help steer them through four quirky cities on the planet. Space travelers must "earn" the money to fuel their space ships and can only "purchase" items for their space ship if their budget permits. The adventure begins on Mandarin Mountains, the planet that teaches the value and importance of money. Tangy Town is the second stop where children learn about budgeting, banking and paychecks. Naval City makes children aware of credit, interest and inflation. The last stop, Orangeopolis, introduces investing, stocks, diversification and risk. After the tasks are completed on each continent, the children are given a brief quiz of lessons learned and earn a certificate for answering all the questions correctly.

Parents and teachers may find that they can learn a thing or two from Amy and Cedric as well. It's not everyday that we think about the concept of compounding interest, both as it relates to savings and debt. With interest rates on the rise, the impact of compounding interest may force Canadians to take a serious look at their spending and saving habits.

Compounding interest is one of the most important concepts explored on Planet Orange and through the summer contest developed by ING DIRECT in partnership with OWL and chickaDEE magazines, kids will have the chance to win a Grand Prize of a $250 ING DIRECT Children's Savings Account, a piggy bank and a book, Money, Money, Money: Where It Comes From, How To Save It, Spend it and Make it, published by Owlkids Books. If left in a high-interest savings account, that $250 would double in about 20 years*.

Second prize is a $100 ING DIRECT Children's Saving Account, piggy bank and book.

Third prize is a $50 ING DIRECT Children's Savings Account, piggy, bank and book.

Ten runners up will win a piggy bank to start their savings.

The contest ends on August 31, 2010. More details can be found at ingdirect.ca/contest.

All kids have to do to enter is visit orangekids.ca, sign up as an astronaut, complete their first mission called Mandarin Mountains, print out a Certificate of Exploration, and then mail it in to the Planet Orange Contest. (Kids will get their parents to help them fill out their name, age, address, phone number, parent's name, e-mail and signature).

ING DIRECT is also providing Summer Savings Tips for Parents, offering ideas about how to have family fun while saving money, such as Get Crafty, Take them to the Market, and Take the Party Outside. There are also tips to encourage parents to teach kids about giving. The Savings Tips will be tweeted from @SuperStarSaver daily, from June 21 to June 27, and also reside on ING DIRECT's Facebook page - www.facebook.com/superstarsaver.(copy attached).

TM - Planet Orange and Orange Kids are trademarks of ING USA Holding Company used with consent by ING Bank of Canada.

* Assumes 3% interest rate, compounded annually.

About Planet Orange

Planet Orange at www.orangekids.ca is an exciting new planet in the deepest reaches of outer space that helps kids learn about earning, spending, saving and investing. Planet Orange gives children a chance to embark on a variety of targeted space missions and discover the importance and value of money, along with personal finance lessons through fun and engaging games and activities.

While on Planet Orange, children in grades one through six can rocket through space to four different continents that teach the fundamentals of earning, saving, spending and investing. The interactive, space-themed website comes fully equipped with a Teacher Resource Center that includes teacher tutorials, free lesson plans and supplemental information and tools to enhance the learning experience. There is also a Parent Centre that walks parents through the site and addresses how ING DIRECT protects the privacy of their kids online.

The Planet Orange space missions allow children to select and steer their astronaut through four quirky cities on Planet Orange. Space travelers must "earn" the money to fuel their space ships and can only "purchase" items for their space ship if their budget permits. Through the able assistance of space guides Cedric and Amy, adventures begin on Mandarin Mountains, the planet that teaches the value and importance of money. Tangy Town is the second stop where children learn about budgeting, banking and paychecks. Naval City makes children aware of credit, interest and inflation. The last stop, Orangeopolis, introduces investing, stocks, diversification and risk. After the tasks are completed on each continent, the children are given a brief quiz of lessons learned and earn a certificate for answering all the questions correctly.

On breaks between missions, Planet Orange travelers can hang out at their space station and spend Obux - Planet Orange outer space money - on games, decorations and costumes for their avatar astronaut. When Obux run low, there are always plenty of ways to earn more.

About ING DIRECT

ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.6 million Clients and more than $29 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges, and low rates on mortgages. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING Direct Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and has paid more than $4 billion in interest to Clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at ingdirect.ca, on mobile devices at m.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3473).

Follow Peter Aceto on Twitter at: Twitter.com/CEO_INGDIRECT

And find ING DIRECT at: Facebook.com/SuperStarSaver; Twitter.com/SuperStarSaver; YouTube.com/SuperStarSaver

Style note to Editors: ING DIRECT is always capitalized and never referred to as ING.

    
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Summer Saving Tips for Parents

Summertime is finally here! When it comes to spending the summer holidays with the kids in your life, you don't need to break the budget. Take this opportunity to teach them how to be a true Saver with these great 7 Tips for summertime saving.

1. Garage Sale or Thrift it.

Kids can learn that their allowance money goes a long way when compared to making purchases at the mall. They'll get to experience the excitement of maybe finding a treasure and a deal at the same time. Way to be eco-friendly too!

2. Get Crafty.

Do it yourself. There are lots of crafty things that kids can make over the summer from decorating flower pots or stepping stones to making their own popsicles with home-made lemonade. Share the crafts and treats at summer occasions - birthday parties, summer picnics, family reunions or Canada Day.

3. Take them to the Market.

Introduce them to fresh produce at fair prices. Kids don't get to see farmers at the supermarket, so you can take this chance to show them the connection between hard work and money. You can also introduce them to a different way of buying produce and the difference in price for fresh items compared to the store-bought packaged items.

4. Grow Your Savings.

Save on groceries and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables by growing your own garden with the kids' help. Give them the responsibility of watering, weeding or planting. They'll learn how easy it is to grow their own food and save money when they don't have to rely on the store-bought items.

5. A Summer Gig.

Summer allows for more creative ways that your young ones can learn the value of making and saving their own money. The classic lemonade stand is easy to set up and encourages teamwork. They can also help the family host a garage sale or start a dog walking business. Earning their own money at an early age can also help kids understand the value of where money comes from to buy the items they want.

6. Take the Party Outside.

Summer is usually too warm and sunny to stay inside. Instead of spending money on a restaurant meal, organize family picnics, barbeques or spend a day at the lake. Kids can help prepare sandwiches and salads or assist in packing a picnic basket. The experience will teach them that they don't need to spend money to eat out and they may even find they enjoy it more than a meal at a restaurant.

7. Give Back, Together.

Teach your kids that the only thing better than saving is giving! And, there's no better time to share and donate as a family than during the summer when you have more time to spend together. Simple things to get your kids in the habit of giving back include delivering groceries to a local food drive or volunteering at a local community centre.

TM - Planet Orange is a trademark of ING USA Holding Company and is used with consent by ING Bank of Canada.

    
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SOURCE Tangerine

For further information: For further information: Media Relations Contacts: Lisa Naccarato, lnaccarato@ingdirect.ca, or call 416.758.5072; Joanne Ingrassia, jingrassia@ingdirect.ca, or call 416.903.0101


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