SEATTLE (October 5, 2017) — Inspired by the belief that a healthy relationship with money starts at an early age, BECU is helping teens get familiar with managing their finances before entering adulthood. Next week, the member-owned credit union is holding its annual Closing for Good event at 12 high schools in Washington state and extending its support to parents nationwide by providing resources to inspire the Next Big Talk with their teen about money management; the goal is creating financially savvy adults.
“Nearly half of Americans cannot come up with $400 to cover an emergency expense without having to borrow or sell something. Through resources like Closing for Good and the Next Big Talk, BECU is committed to helping reverse this trend,” said Tom Berquist, BECU's senior vice president of Marketing and Cooperative Affairs. “We believe that talking with teens early and often about money is as important as speaking to them about other life challenges. The earlier we can help teens begin to develop healthier financial habits, the better.”
Third Year of Closing for Good
On October 9, BECU will close its doors for a day of service where more than 1,800 employees will host financial reality fairs for more than 7,000 students at 12 high schools in Puget Sound and Spokane. At the fairs, students experience hands-on education about what it is like to build and balance a budget, make tough financial choices and live within their income.
During the event, students are each assigned a persona and income. The students then have to manage their expenses while navigating various stations to make spending decisions about transportation, housing, entertainment and more. BECU employees serve as salespeople and credit union employees who help students balance their budgets. The goal of the fair is to create realistic financial choices for teens in a setting where they can evaluate each choice and receive coaching on the decision process.
Sparking the Next Big Talk
According to 2015 Junior Achievement USA study, the vast majority of teens (84 percent) say they want to learn about managing money from their parents, while more than a third of parents say they do not discuss money with their children. Many parents reported that they feel uncomfortable speaking with their children about money matters.
Parents looking for information and encouragement to discuss finances with their teen can visit BECU.org/thenextbigtalk for resources, including a conversation guide focused on four areas of financial health: spending, saving, borrowing and planning. The guide features questions for parents and teens to answer together to start a discussion on managing money responsibly, tips for healthy financial behaviors and activities to reinforce the four areas of financial health.
BECU is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its members. Members receive the benefits of ownership through better rates and fewer fees. With more than 1 million members and over $17 billion in assets, BECU is the largest credit union in Washington and one of the top five financial cooperatives in the country. BECU currently operates more than 45 locations in Washington and two financial centers in South Carolina.