Best Life Podcast | Altra Federal Credit Union
Best Life Podcast | Altra Federal Credit Union
Episode 3: Financial Literacy & CU Youth Month
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April is Financial Literacy Month and it’s also Credit Union Youth Month. While this April may look different than in years past, Altra has some exciting news and ways to help youth live their best lives including using dinosaurs to promote saving

money, a new spend account with rewards, and a $10,000 scholarship for college. Altra’s Youth Services Manager, Danielle Anderson, speaks with Tony to discuss what’s going on around Altra in April.

Transcript

(Tony)

Hello and thank you for joining us for the Best Life Podcast where we here at Altra are helping you live your best life. I’m Tony Beyer and we’re so glad you could be here with us today. April is Financial Literacy Month and it’s also Credit Union Youth Month, so needless to say it’s a big month for financial education for those that are young and I like to say for those that are young at heart as well. With the pandemic going on, Altra’s events and education may look a little bit different than in years past, but we still have a lot going on. Here to tell us more and joining us on the Best Life Podcast, we’re speaking with Altra’s Youth Services Manager Danielle Anderson, welcome Danielle.

(Danielle)

Hello

(Tony)

All right, We’re talking about April and Danielle, were already a quarter of the way through 2021, can you believe it?

(Danielle)

Not at all!

(Tony)

Me either. I don’t know where the time goes but like we were talking about it is Financial Literacy Month and it is Credit Union Youth Month, and with you being the Youth Services Manager, I figured you’re the best person most knowledgeable at the credit union to talk to.

(Danielle)

Sure thing!

(Tony)

Excellent! I know every year there’s a fun theme for Credit Union Youth Month. Would you be able to tell us a little bit more about this year’s theme?

(Danielle)

Of course. So this year’s theme is all about dinosaurs were so excited that we’re bringing this Dinosaur theme to everything that we’re doing to celebrate Youth Month in April. So our tagline for our theme wording is going to be: “Don’t let your money go extinct.” It is super important to understand money when you’re young and to make sure that you save wisely, you spend wisely and what better way than to bring in those dinosaurs and wrap it all together and don’t let your money go extinct like they did.

(Tony)

Awesome! I love dinosaurs! T Rex. Is one of my favorites! Triceratops, actually I think is is way up there as well. Do you have a favorite Dinosaur?

(Danielle)

Parasaurolophus

(Tony)

I have no idea what that is, but I’m going to be Googling later, it sounds pretty awesome! So what are the things that Altra has going on for April to promote savings so that our savings don’t go extinct?

(Danielle)

So we are celebrating by giving all new members that open a new savings account with us a $20 match. So, if you come in and you deposit $20 into that savings account, brand new membership with us, we’re also going to match that $20, so you’re going to start off right off the bat with 40 bucks in your account, and what better way to learn about how to compound money and get more bang for your buck than to work a promotion? You know, get some free money while you’re at it. And then we’re also going to have lots of things throughout, so we’re going to be running some social media contests where you can guess the dinosaur, we’re going to put different shapes out and if you follow the link you’ll be entered into win gift cards. Anybody who opens an account during the month will automatically be entered to win our grand prize, and if you already have an account with us, you can certainly visit an office, or you can write in your submission and we’re going to be giving away a huge Dinosaur package. It comes with Legos to build the Jurassic World and a huge T Rex. We’re also giving away an inflatable Dinosaur costume. We’re giving away some dig your own dinosaurs, so it’ll come with a little egg and you get to crack it open and see the fossil or have a little Dinosaur come out. So we’re really just promoting the Dinosaur theme and lots of fun prizes. The Grand prize is actually valued at $450, so like I said, huge, huge incentives to come visit us and our offices. We will also have lots of activities, so saving word finds and needs versus wants crosswords, there’s going to be some coloring sheets. You’ll also get an allowance handout to kind of figure out, “Hey, if I start making some money, what do I need to say for and how long might it take?” So really promoting that theme of we really want you to understand the value, the importance of savings, and how to get it to a really safe place.

(Tony)

Excellent! and that really serves as the foundation. I love that attitude! Are employees eligible for this? ’cause all of that sounds incredibly awesome!

(Danielle)

Employees are eligible for this!

(Tony)

What? Awesome! Lot of competition for sure, that sounds incredible. So there’s a lot going on here in April, and again, we’re speaking with Danielle Anderson, our Youth Services Manager, and while I’ve got you here, I also wanted to talk about financial education. I know that one of the programs that we partner with through Altra in our Altra Foundation is Banzai, and there are some exciting things going on with that, and Danielle, would you be able to tell us a little bit more about our Banzai program?

(Danielle)

Of course. So Banzai is one of our partners that helps offer financial education in many different forms. So one of the ways that we partner with them is through classrooms, so teachers are able to request the program and then what we wanted to do was take that a step further. For those that maybe didn’t have it in the classroom, and we now offer it on our website, so it’s actually an identical program. It’s called Banzai Teen and you can access that just by going to Altra.org and looking for Banzai. What’s really, really cool right now about that program is we’re actually offering a $10,000 scholarship to people who complete that program. You have to be in grades nine through 12 and there’s a couple of other stipulations. There’s a minimum GPA, you also have to complete the entire Banzai Teen program, which should take somewhere between three and six hours depending how long you actually want to sit down with it. You have the ability to retake the program, but what’s really fun is you’re making these decisions in a very interactive environment. So, you take your pretest, to just kind of test your knowledge, dip your feet and see what what you know what you want to learn. The next thing that you’ll do is go through these scenarios and then you go through the game, and the purpose of the game is to save for your college tuition. You’ll go through all of these different choices where maybe your friends want you to go out to dinner or they want you to go to a movie or something and you have to decide, do I want to go out with them or do I want to eat dinner tonight? You know, different things like that, and then there’s also going to be unexpected things that happen like maybe you’re going to get a speeding ticket, or maybe your tire goes flat and you have to dip into your savings a little bit. Then at the very end you take that post test to see what you learned. If you score above an 85% and you want to apply for this scholarship, you can go to altrafoundation.org and the scholarship is being offered through our foundation. Fill out four simple short answer questions and then you’ll be entered to win. It’ll go before a panel of judges in May and one winner will be selected for $10,000 scholarship.

(Tony)

Awesome wow, that is incredible! That the game is a lot of fun. I can tell you from experience I’ve heard it called Adulting 101 and these are very valuable skills that students are going to be using the rest of their lives.

(Danielle)

Absolutely it’s so important to learn those things. I can say that I had to go through the program at least 10 or 12 times before I was able to make it to the end and actually have enough for that semester of tuition.

(Tony)

You find out how important insurance is, that’s a big takeaway that I had…and a slight transition here, I know there’s more exciting news when it comes to youth starting here April 1st…it’s no joke. There’s going to be a new account for youth, and Danielle would be able to tell us a little bit more about that account?

(Danielle)

Yes, we are so excited for this. We’re adding a new product to our checking accounts. It’s going to be the Live Your Life spend account, and it is for members ages 13 to 23 and the most exciting thing about it is the fact that we are offering cash back debit rewards. So, if you go and swipe that debit card, you’re going to earn $0.10 for every purchase that you make after you’ve made a minimum of 10 purchases. Just go online access your account, sign up for E-statements, so, super simple things to be able to qualify, but we are so excited to be able to offer this to the ages 13 to 23 age group because we haven’t had anything that specific for them that really offers those rewards that a lot of kids are looking for. There’s a lot of safety features if parents are worried about having their child have an account for the first time, where they actually take away the check so you aren’t able to write checks on it. We won’t order checks for you or anything like that. We’re going to set it so that it won’t go into the negative, but we’re putting a lot of protections in place. Of course, there’s always some things that may happen, but we’re really trying to make this account a great first experience, especially for those ones that are just learning about using a debit card and what is a checking account and really trying to get their feet wet so to say with new things and new technology that might be available to them such as that online banking, the mobile app and getting them acclimated with that.

(Tony)

Oh, that is fantastic! I love the protections that are in place and the opportunity to get some cash back, That’s great and topair that.

(Danielle)

Yeah

(Tony)

We pair that with the saving and everything, awesome, awesome, awesome! So many great things going on in April, really all year round when it comes to financial education and when it comes to financial literacy. I know that I’ve been fairly busy doing presentations, classrooms, you know, virtually, that’s our world right now, and it’s awesome that we have those programs available for those that are young and, you know, those are young at heart, they can use it too, why not?

(Danielle)

Absolutely and you know a couple of the other things that we offer that aren’t just limited to April. You know, we’ve got our Altra Jr. app that is free and it gives children the ability to track their savings, learn about using money, how to spend money safely all by really using hands on games and videos…and it’s great because we do offer that free to anyone, you don’t have to be a member to use it. Then you know we’ve got the Banzai programs that we talked about, not just the Teen, but we also have a Junior for ages 8 to 12 and we also have a Plus for ages 16 and over…and hopefully at some point will be able to meet safely in person again and we’ll be able to start hosting our financial literacy camps that we usually do in the summer ’cause I sure miss those.

(Tony)

I do too. I do too. That’s always a lot of fun, so it was curious, Danielle, I know that you’ve, you know, been with Altra quite some time, you know, working with our young adults, working with youth, working with kids, is there anything that has surprised you or something that you thought, I don’t know, what’s true or cause you to reframe your thinking about working, you know, with you there with young adults anything come to mind Danielle?

(Danielle)

Yes. So, I am going to go all the way back to when I first started. I did my first Junior Achievement session in a classroom, I believe they were third graders and just talking to them about the importance of money and how to actually earn it, things like that. One of my favorite comments was just, you know, just pull out that “swipey thing,” and they were referring to a debit card or credit card, and it’s just so funny to think like when I was little and everything was cash. You know, if if I went to work for my grandma and I got a couple bucks, or washed windows, or washed her car or something…and now it’s so funny to sit there and look at money basically being virtual. They always have their phone and when you think of that quote the thing is they’re not handing over cash anymore, it’s pretty much all a debit card purchase, so that has definitely had to reframe my thinking a little bit, especially for my own children. I’ve got a 3 year old who’s just now starting to get into money, and it’s so funny because he doesn’t understand that you know a nickel is 5 pennies, he just wants the pennies and he found a nickel the other day and I’m like, “Well, I will give you this if you go pick up all the toys in your room,” and he goes “No, I want the penny,” and so I had to kind of like step back and say, “Well, this is worth 5 Pennies!” It’s just little things like that that I think are so funny and really trying to explain to different ages how money works and it’s all around. It’s been a lot of fun the last couple of years, especially now that I have my own kids being able to take what I’ve learned in the 10 years that I’ve been doing this and apply it to my own child now…and it’s just fun watching him and knowing that I learned this while I was on the go to when I first started.

(Tony)

Excellent, that’s great that you’re able to use this knowledge and use it…you know, to better your life and your kids’ lives this well, absolutely cool. Is there anything else that you wanted to add Danielle, I know you’re incredibly busy when we really appreciate you taking the time to be here on the podcast?

(Danielle)

Of course, the only thing I have to add is just look for any opportunities that are available. You know, whether you’re a parent and you just want to start teaching them the basics, or if you’re a teenager and you want to start learning about checking accounts and how to save for college, or IRA is for when you’re older and retirement. It’s never too early to start learning about money and all the resources that you can get your hands on because money is constantly evolving and there’s new ways to save, and just really find something that works for you and your family and apply that.

(Tony)

Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you so much for being on the Best Life Podcast Danielle, again, we’re talking to Danielle Anderson our Youth Services Manager at Altra and we really appreciate you taking the time to talk a little bit more about financial education and financial literacy for youth, which is so important in helping everyone live their best life, so thank you Danielle.

(Danielle)

Absolutely, thank you so much.

(Tony)

That’s going to do it for this episode of the Best Life Podcast presented by Altra Federal Credit Union. We appreciate you taking a moment to learn how you can live your best life. If you have a question or a topic you’d like us to cover, shoot me an email at: [email protected] and who knows, it may even make it into a future episode. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Best Life Podcast pretty much wherever you get your podcasts or find it on our website at altra.org. Thanks again, be well, and we’ll talk to you again soon.