Throughout the year, Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union’s Escanaba and Gladstone employees donate $1.00 each Friday (and other special occasions such as holidays or CU Week) to wear blue jeans. Four local charities each received $400.00 from funds collected in 2015.
The Angel Project is a Delta County task force against substance abuse and uses volunteers to help drug addicts take the steps to become sober. Pictured from L to R is Clara Adams, Lt. LaMarche of Escanaba Department of Public Safety, Wayne Johnson, Sarah Slagstad, Brittany Buckland and Laurie Peterson.
Hope at the Inn
Hope at the Inn is a faith-based, rotating, emergency homeless shelter. The shelter's mission is to provide support for those who are homeless in Delta County, Michigan, through the cooperative efforts of an interfaith coalition and various social service agencies, by offering a safe emergency shelter and an opportunity for these individuals to choose a path of successful transition to independence. Pictured from L to R is Lynn Deneau, Maggie from Hope at the Inn, Terri Young and Rachael Strand.
The Wheelin' Sportsmen program offers disabled individuals a chance to hunt with special equipment. Pictured from L to R is Ken Bucholtz from Wheelin’ Sportsmen, May Elder, Erica Quinn, Sandy Derouin, Sarah Slagstad, Wayne Johnson and Michelle Maki.
Tri-County Safe Harbor
The Tri-County Safe Harbor helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Pictured from L to R is Brittany Buckland, Sarah Slagstad, Lynn Erickson from Hope at the Inn, Michelle Maki, Clara Adams, Mary Elder, Sandy Derouin, Laurie Peterson, Pat Payton and Erica Quinn.
When teens’ spending requests grow more frequent — whether for concerts, clothes or gas for the car — that could be a sign they’re ready to start learning money management basics. Letting teens budget and pay for certain expenses by using a personal account with a debit card and spending limits can help them develop financial responsibility.
Whether they get birthday checks from Grandma, babysit for a neighbour or work at the mall, kids may have some money of their own. With a signature from Mom or Dad, teens can open a basic share draft account to store that cash.
Many credit unions offer youth accounts with ATM or debit cards. These accounts also offer easy parental oversight, such as preset daily spending limits and convenient online access.
For example, Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union makes it easy for parents to set a limit of, say, $25 or $50, on daily debit card or ATM cash withdrawals. Controlling some of their own financial decisions may help teens to better grasp the distinction between wants and needs. You might be surprised at how quickly your child starts to budget.
Click and learn
While 84 percent of teens look to their parents for instruction on managing money, more than a third of parents say they avoid discussing financial topics with their kids, according to a 2015 survey sponsored by the Allstate Foundation. Online and mobile banking make it easy for parents to teach kids these important life skills. Many kids are well-versed in technology, and it’s convenient for parents and teens to access accounts from home and view them together.
It will probably seem intuitive for web-savvy teens to sign up for electronic bank statements rather than waiting for paper statements to arrive in the mail. They may take pride in learning to view their account balances online, verifying deposits or withdrawals and seeing the dividends they’ve earned.
Intro to credit scores
Older teens can also be introduced to the fundamentals of credit scores, which will become an important part of their future financial lives.
Credit bureaus don’t track debit card activity, but it’s recommended that parents check for a credit report under their teen’s name by age 18 or even earlier, since identity thieves can target children’s Social Security numbers. Showing your teen a credit report can help teach the importance of checking the information for accuracy.
The bottom line
By helping your teens learn important financial lessons while they’re still living at home, you’ll prepare them to make smarter decisions about money throughout their lifetimes.
Jeanne Lee, NerdWallet
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