Bank On It: Financial Literacy
Most things in our daily lives require money in some way, shape or form. The ability to manage your money and make informed, educated and confident decisions about your finances is crucial. With every life stage, we’re faced with new challenges, opportunities and expenses. It’s important to be prepared for each of them so that you’re not putting yourself into a tough financial situation.
CNBC reported that nearly half of Americans said they don’t think they’ve saved enough money to retire comfortably. This stat is scary enough, but it points to an even bigger underlying problem that can be prevented.
C&N recognizes that managing your finances is becoming more and more complex, so they’ve made it a priority to simplify it and provide easy-to-use resources and tools that will help you navigate your financial ecosystem.
C&N’s Resource Center
Located on C&N’s website is their resource center, which includes a multitude of valuable tools and resources:
– Calculators: calculators to help you figure out your debt to income ratio, balance your checkbook, calculate your mortgage payment and so much more.
– Security: the Security section reviews best practices online and how to protect your information. Cybersecurity and fraud are a billion-dollar industry and it’s difficult to know how to protect yourself and your information. Pete Boergermann is our Information Security Officer. It’s his job to be up-to-date on the newest scams and how to protect C&N and our customers’ information. In the security section, he addresses the newest threats and best practices for prevention in easy, simple to understand checklists and tips.
– Video Library: For those who would rather watch than read we’ve also created a Video Library, which is broken down into 4 sections. The Financial Tips is our experts addressing hot financial topics and issues. The Brand Stories and Giving Back, Giving Together (GBGT) & Community sections focus on who we are at C&N and how we are helping in our community. The last section is our Products & Tech. We’ve spent a lot of money investing in technology that makes doing everyday banking tasks easy and convenient for our customers. These videos review some of the new capabilities we’ve rolled out recently and how to use them.
– C&N Library: the C&N Library is similar to the Video Library. It’s a collection of articles written by C&N employees who share their knowledge and expertise on financial topics and issues that are affecting people. They not only address the problem but offer advice on how to resolve or prevent these things from happening.
There are articles out there on everything from looking at the impact the U.S. Midterm elections have on the economy to volunteering in your community and everything in between. Each article concludes with the name and contact information of the C&N expert who wrote the article, giving you the opportunity to reach out if you have any further questions. It’s available to everyone just by visiting our website. You don’t even need to be a C&N customer. This is a free resource we’ve made available to our entire community.
In addition to the resources available on our website, we have some special products available for C&N Customers.
– Planning for Retirement: C&N’s retirement planning team recently rolled out a new enhancement to their online platform to help their clients see what their income translates into at retirement based on their current saving behaviors.
– Online Banking: there are a few new tools built into C&N’s online banking, as well. C&N recently rolled out online account holds, which allows you to see transactions and get a real-time view of your account before a transaction has finished processing. There’s also account alerts that can be set up through your online or mobile banking app. This monitoring system will send you a text message when your account hits a level you specify to help prevent you from over drafting your account.
C&N is continuing to build these tools and resources, so they are available for customers to access when it’s convenient for them and have more that will be rolling out in the next couple months.
Financial literacy is a priority for C&N. The more prepared our customers, communities and neighbors are for their financial future, the better for everyone.
– Teach Children to Save: Every spring C&N partners with the American Banking Association to host presentations in the local schools and youth clubs called, “Teach Children to Save.” This program uses fun games and activities to talk about the importance of saving in a way that elementary level students can understand. Many times, these presentations are at their local branch, so kids can tour the bank and their spokesbug, Sammy Saver is usually on-hand to help.
– Get Smart About Credit: In the fall, they focus on high school age kids for a presentation called, “Get Smart About Credit.” This program covers credit scores, identity theft and paying for college.
– C&N Speaker Series: C&N decided these programs and sharing financial education is so important that they developed a C&N Speaker Series on their website. This is an easy way for teachers, youth group leaders, community clubs and senior centers to submit a request for them to come in and do a presentation on a variety of topics.
– Youth Clubs: C&N has two youth clubs that focus on starting kids and teens off with smart money habits from a young age. Their Ju$t for Kid$ club is for kids 13 and under that focuses on budgeting and encouraging kids to save their money. They send out newsletters and have their own rewards program. In addition, C&N recently entered into a partnership with a company called Banzai to add an added layer of financial education offerings. Through Banzai, the kids in these programs play a game that varies based on their age. In the Junior game, kids need to run and manage a lemonade stand. The goal is to teach them basic budgeting and finances.
The second level is targeted towards teens and has been integrated it into their Teen Steps Club. Instead of handing a teen a debit card and wishing them good luck, they’ve built a program where teens need to earn their financial freedom. The way they earn it is by working their way through the Teen course with Banzai. Their goal is to save $2,000 for college, but on the way, they need to make decisions, like whether or not to buy the flashy sports car. If they do, how does that impact their savings and what happens when something unexpected occurs, like they get a flat tire. The game helps them work through a variety of common mistakes young people make starting out and saves them from making the same mistakes in the real world.
Through the game they are also given access to a bonus level called Plus. The goal is to save for a down payment on your dream home. This program reviews identity theft, credit scores, mortgages and so many other topics that affect everyone as adults.
Figuring out how to manage your finances can be tough, but you don’t have to figure it out on your own. C&N is there to help their friends and neighbors understand their finances so they can make informed, educated and confident decisions for their future.
Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: C&N Bank
Anchor: Rhonda Pearson
Correspondent: Sara Vogt
Produced by Vogt Media
Home Page Sponsors: Citizens & Northern Bank