Tag Archives: financial literacy


Arizona Central Credit Union Launches Kids’ Website

ACCU smallArizona Central Credit Union is launching a new initiative to encourage financial literacy among children. Designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12, this program is intended to encourage sound financial habits and further an awareness of positive saving and spending practices.

Molly and Moe are the official mascots of the Monkey Money program, which incorporates an interactive website, children’s savings account and club member benefits. Games, stories, contests, jokes, definitions of financial terms, and information about the special Monkey Money savings program, can all be found on the website. Each month a new article and correlating activity will address a different financial theme. A coloring contest, which began at the launch of the website on June 21, 2014, will be held until July 31, 2014. Children don’t have to be Monkey Money members to enter, but can win cash prizes, and fun monkey items. Coloring sheets and the official rules for the contest can be found on the website.

“Arizona Central Credit Union is passionate about helping the children in our communities reach a higher level of financial literacy. By investing in creative and fun educational methods, we hope to encourage positive lifestyle patterns that will then translate into adulthood,” said Todd Pearson, President and CEO of Arizona Central Credit Union­.

Following the launch of the website on June 21st, Arizona Central Credit Union branches will be hosting a week-long youth event. Free gift basket raffle tickets and refreshments will be available at all branches. Arizona Central Credit Union will contribute a $10 deposit into Monkey Money accounts opened during this celebration week.

Founded in 1939, Arizona Central Credit Union has been serving members for over 75 years at 10 full-service branches, with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, Chandler, Tempe, Flagstaff and Show Low. Visit www.azcentralcu.org or their Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/azcentralcu for more information.

NBA Check Presentation Photo

National Bank of Arizona Partners with YWCA

YWCA Maricopa County announced its new partnership with National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ), to expand the YW’s Own It Financial Education Program, providing financial literacy to primarily low-income women and families at no-charge.

The YW is proud to be the foremost agency in Maricopa County providing financial education to people from all walks of life, many of whom are among the working poor, struggling to pay their bills and feed their families, even while working 40 hours or more a week. For 101 years in Arizona, the YW has provided women’s education, mentoring, and leadership to fulfill a common vision; equal opportunity for all people.  The YW believes a woman that is financially educated provides a better quality of life for herself and her family.

NB|AZ has always been a great supporter of the YW and its programs. Several of their employees volunteer to teach Own It classes, they sponsor major events like the YW’s Tribute to Leadership gala, and one of their employees, Mary Holman, has served on the YW Board for several years. This year, the NB|AZ Women’s Financial Group, a forum of professional women who join together to collaborate, network, and succeed in finance, business and life, will be joining forces with the YW to support its Athena PowerLink program. Athena PowerLink is a mentoring service that matches established professionals with upcoming women and minority business owners, in the hopes of helping them succeed.  By forming a partnership with YWCA Maricopa County, NB|AZ sends a shared message to our Arizona community; we care and are committed to its most vulnerable residents. With the support of NB|AZ, the YW will be able to expand its financial education program to reach more underserved individuals, and provide them with the tools they need to become financially stable.

“We could not be more pleased to award a $25,000 grant to the YWCA of Maricopa County in support of its ‘Own It’ Financial Education Program. Financial literacy for women is a mission that is shared and deeply valued by NB|AZ,” said Deborah Bateman, Executive Vice President, Director of Wealth Strategies at National Bank of Arizona. “The grant will enable the program’s expansion into smaller communities throughout Arizona, changing the lives of countless women through financial empowerment, education and awareness.”

If you are interested in learning more about Own It, you can visit www.ywcaaz.org, call the YW office at 602-258-0990, or email Financial Education Coordinator Bev Strom, at bev.strom@ywcaaz.org.


money management

National Bank of Arizona sponsors ThriveTime Challenge

National Bank of Arizona (NB|AZ) announced its sponsorship of the second annual ThriveTime Challenge, a statewide financial literacy initiative that aims to educate high school students about money management.

ThriveTime Challenge, founded by the 2013 NB|AZ Woman of the Year Sharon Lechter, is a tournament involving playing the award-winning ThriveTime for Teens board game. The board game was named the 2010 Creative Child Magazine Game of the Year and takes players on a financial rollercoaster where they must make crucial life decisions like buying cars and paying for college.

“We were honored to sponsor the ThriveTime Challenge for the second year in a row,” said Deborah Bateman, executive vice president and director of wealth strategies at NB|AZ. “Financial literacy is an important initiative to NB|AZ and we are pleased to support a program that encourages responsible money management beginning at a young age.”

Each participating school hosted its own single-round tournament and winners from each school progressed to a state-level competition on April 20 at Arizona State University West campus in Glendale.

The top three finalists of the state competition received scholarship dollars ranging from $2,500 to $5,000, and the home schools of each finalist received $1,000. Participation in the tournament was free for all participating schools and students.

For more information about the ThriveTime Challenge, contact Angela Totman at angela@pyff.net or visit www.thrivetimechallenge.com. For more information about National Bank of Arizona, visit www.nbarizona.com.

Financial Literacy Needs to be Taught Outside the Classroom

Financial Literacy Needs To Be Taught Outside The Classroom

As the spring school semester begins, one of the most valuable lessons that kids, especially teens, can learn isn’t being taught in a classroom setting: financial literacy.

Or, how not to graduate into financial problems.

But, aside from the birds and the bees talk, the money talk is probably the most uncomfortable for parents. To help ease this anxiety-ridden discussion, below are some key areas that should be discussed as we enter this new school year.

Where does money come from?

Turns out, money neither grows on trees nor out of parents’ wallets. And, not all money is meant to be for “fun,” such as at the movies, with a new girlfriend or on new iPod songs.

But how do you get a kid to understand this?

Why not focus on a “money in, money out” budget with them?

Often, children focus only on money going out. But where does it go? And when? And why? A budget, reviewed with and by a parent each month, can be an easy way to show the value of money on a regular basis.

For example, if a child gets a $40 allowance each month, have them develop a budget to make that money last for an entire month. This means saying “no” to spending all the “fun” money at once. It also helps children understand how to prioritize.

The lesson: Sometimes a lifestyle adjustment is required in order to ensure one does not exceed money going out versus money coming in.

Credit cards are supposed to be paid back?

Believe it or not, we actually recommend working with children on building credit at a young age, but only if they can do so without maxing out on their available balance, straining to make payments or, worse, defaulting.

This is an especially important lesson to be instilling before college. Why?

Credit card companies generally offer low limits to young adults entering college. This typically allows for more freshmen to apply and get approved as soon as possible. Some offer incentives to apply. Many companies simply place applications on college desks and in dorms — and freshmen apply by the thousands, not realizing that every penny spent on that credit card is owed back, with interest.

By working with children on credit starting from a young age, parents can help them grow to understand the impact of good or bad credit on one’s life. In addition, just as bad spending is habit-forming, so are good spending and saving.

Don’t do it alone!

Sure, parents are the first — and best — figures to talk about money with children and teens. However, you are not alone! There are resources to help reinforce your messages and lessons. For example, Junior Achievement is available to  most high school students in Arizona – Junior Achievement.

“Junior Achievement of Arizona has been educating K-12 students about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy since 1957,” says Joyce Richards, president of Junior Achievement of Arizona. “This year alone, we will engage more than 72,000 Arizona students in our programs.”

The organization, known as JA to most Arizona educators and business leaders, offers supplemental programs to elementary, middle and high schools statewide as well as after-school programs and on-site education opportunities.

The JA Finance Park enables students to build foundations for making intelligent, life-long personal finance decisions. The program, focused on middle school-age kids, consists of 19 teacher-led lessons at school, and is coupled by a half-day on-site simulation in the Finance Park, which is located in Tempe and done as a field trip in most cases. This on-site simulation takes kids on a journey to create a personal budget including rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, savings, entertainment, groceries and more. They are even given simulated careers and salaries.

“As students strive to create a balanced budget, they begin to understand the value of money, and make the connection between hard work, education, and their future earnings,” Richards says.

For more information about Junior Achievement of Arizona and any of its programs on financial literacy, please visit jaaz.org.