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CU Minute

Help Young Members Save Small and Dream Big During Credit Union Youth Month

April is National Credit Union Youth Month, a time to encourage children, teens, and young adults to develop healthy financial habits. When parents have trouble managing money, it may be even more challenging for them to teach their children good savings tips and tricks.

How can your credit union encourage members to save?

  • Contests and giveaways: Coloring and writing contests are a great way to introduce your credit union to students in your area. Draw parents with children in by having coloring sheets in your lobby, partner with daycare facilities and schools, and find ways to spread the word around your community. Consider monetary prizes, such as a nominal deposit to a new or existing youth savings account.
  • Special incentives and promotions: When it comes to opening a new youth savings account, what are you offering to set your credit union apart from your competitors? Have you considered “birthday bucks,” where children earn $5-10 every year on their birthday (until a certain age threshold)? How competitive is the interest rate for your kids' accounts? What about a sign-up bonus for both the parent and the child? The possibilities are endless!
  • Financial literacy workshops for young members: Whether community based or through a partnership with a school in your area, it may be beneficial to offer hands-on training for kids to learn about money. Consider workbooks, definitions, how to write checks, how to balance checkbooks, how to budget, what investments are, general accounting knowledge, and credit versus debit. Teach students young so they can prepare for larger purchases, such as their first vehicle, a sports training camp, school trip, or college tuition.
  • Special savings match programs for youth accounts: Another incentive for parents and youth to open accounts at your institution is offering special savings match programs for up to x-amount of money. You may also want to consider an age-cap for youth accounts to receive matches.
  • Gamify savings through your credit union’s app: Have you ever considered making saving money fun? When you offer points and rewards for reaching savings goals, do you encourage all ages to save? Consider ways for children to “cash out” their rewards points through physical or monetary prizes. Make sure your app allows for parental controls and offers a way for children to access accounts, track spending, set goals, and set-up automatic savings transfers (if applicable).
  • Drop the minimum balance requirements and monthly maintenance fees: Saving money should be easy. Don’t let fees diminish what people are putting into their accounts. Removing barriers helps encourage your young members to grow with your credit union.

Help your members start by saving small and dreaming big. For more information on National Youth Month, visit cuna.org.

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