Find out how First Keystone Community Bank helps our communities and what you can do at home to increase your awareness.
Why is financial literacy important?
April is Financial Literacy Month, a time for us to learn how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. Teaching children how to manage money is key to ensuring their future economic success. Unfortunately, formal financial education in the classroom is rare these days. Most Americans learn about money when they run into financial trouble, which by then, is too late. Ninety-eight percent of college students and ninety percent of high school students say they learned about money through their own experience.
The economic crisis a few years ago sent an urgent message that financial education can no longer be an option or a privilege. Education and hands-on money experience are critical in building a generation of smart money managers.
What is First Keystone Community Bank doing to help?
As a financial institution with deep roots in our community, First Keystone Community Bank feels it is our obligation to tackle the issue head on, not only to help young people, but also older adults. We committed to this effort and took the lead in 2017 by introducing a financial literacy program aimed at high school students, senior citizens, and those with limited access to financial education.
The program has also been successfully presented to younger children in local YMCA centers, daycares, and local libraries. Our program provides lessons and tools that help the youngest generation begin to learn the value of money, how to save money, and the difference between wants and needs. Each lesson is very interactive and creates a fun learning environment.
Our high school program is designed for juniors and seniors who are getting ready to enter the world as adults. Some of the topics we cover for this age group include: why it’s important to open both a checking and savings account; what compound interest is; why it’s very important to start saving at an early age; how to write a check; and how to make deposits. We also emphasize the importance of not spending beyond their means.
Unfortunately, there are many scams that target the young and old alike, so we teach everyone about a wide variety of real-world threats to their financial safety and how they can protect themselves. Protecting older adults from fraud and financial exploitation is especially important and a subject we take seriously. Losing money or possessions to scams, fraud, or exploitation can be especially devastating to older adults who may be not be able to earn back what they’ve lost. To get the word out, we have visited community centers and educated senior citizens about these scams and provided tools they can use to protect themselves every day.
At First Keystone Community Bank, we’re very proud of our financial literacy program and will continue to help residents young and old gain the knowledge they need to make sound financial decisions, protect themselves from fraud, and secure their economic future. If you know a group that would benefit from one of our programs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can email [email protected] or [email protected]. We would love to help a group in our community learn more about financial education.
What can I do at home?
Given the current events in the United States, many people find themselves and their children constricted to the confines of their own home. While taking this time to relax and catch up on your favorite television shows may have consumed your first week at home, most people are going to be homebound for a little while longer. Now is the perfect time for your family to help each other learn about financial topics. Below are some topics that can be researched and learned from the comfort of your home. We provided links to some websites with helpful resources and information.
You can make learning about money fun for young kids by making it into a game or with visual references. Work with your children to help them learn the denominations of coins and dollar bills. Begin explaining to them the difference between a need and a want. The sooner they learn that concept, the easier it will be for them to understand the concept of saving. Spend your money on your needs and save your money for wants.
- The Mint for Kids
- FDIC – Money Smart for Youth
- TreasuryDirect for Kids
- YouTube – Learning Mole Financial Literacy
While your teens may be learning geometry and calculus in school, they probably aren’t learning the basics of banking. You can teach them about balancing a checkbook, writing a check, and how interest works. If they learn these concepts now it will be easier for them to make sound financial decisions in the future.
Even as adults, we still have things we can learn. For young adults it could be learning how to budget and begin an emergency savings account. For older adults it could be learning about retirement and how to utilize online banking services and technology. No matter the age, there are always ways to examine and improve our finances.
If you have any questions or would like more information you can contact First Keystone Community Bank at 570-752-3671 or toll free at 888-759-2266. Please feel free to share your favorite sites for financial literacy in the comment section below!