Checking Accounts

/Checking Accounts
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Question: What Financial Products Should A Young Person Use To Manage Their Money?

Hanging out on the Boglehead Forum today skimming the topics that have received the most replies. Forums seem so “old school” in this age of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat) but the ones that have survived and thrived have done so for a reason. For those not familiar with the Boglehead Forum, the forum is named in honor of John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Investments, and attracts knowledgeable, thrifty investors passionate about sharing their knowledge in a variety of topics. Anytime I descend into the rabbit hole of a forum thread, I find myself wiser for the time invested. Students need to know where to go for reliable, credible sources for financial information.

I thought your students would benefit from this thread titled “College-bound teens and finances,” since it takes a holistic view on how to set up a young person for financial success from a parent’s perspective (other people’s parents which probably helps:) Here was the opening question on the thread: 

Just Say No To Overdraft Protection!

It’s a $33 billion error that consumers continue to make. From Wall Street Journal:

Banks and other financial firms in 2016 generated the highest level of fees in seven years related to overdrafts on checking accounts, marking a turnaround for a charge crisis-era regulation tried to rein in.

So-called overdraft fees totaled $33.3 billion in 2016, up about 2.5% from 2015 and by 5.4% from 2011, according to Moebs Services Inc., an economic-research firm. Overdrafts occur when consumers make transactions that are larger than their checking-account balance.

Try this tomorrow in your class:

The Money Question: Do You Want Overdraft Protection?

Thanks to Mountain View High for inviting me to their AVID class last week (and for the next 7 Thursdays) to teach personal finance. Today’s topic was “How To Manage Your Checking Account.” I started with the Bank role play activity to highlight the questions that students should be prepared to ask PRIOR to opening an account. Asking the right questions has to be the foundational skill we need to develop in any financial education course.

The students responses included the importance of FEES with several discussing the pain that they felt when overdraft fees hit their account. During the role play, I asked the “money question” that all new accountholders will be asked when opening an account: “Would you like overdraft protection?” 

Video Resources: Avoid Those Checking Account Fees

It’s often the first financial product that a young person will use. Maybe they start with a savings account but eventually they graduate and pair their savings account with a checking account. In that process of setting up this new account, the customer will be asked (or they should be) whether they would like “overdraft protection.” The term sounds innocuous and better yet lures them in after all who doesn’t want to be protected. Have your students watch one or more of these videos (hat tip to NGPF’s Jessica for curating these videos from December 2016) and odds are they will choose to “just say no” when it comes to overdraft protection.

This Pew Charitable Trust video from December 2015 interviews people “on the street” to get their thoughts on overdraft fees and policies. Also highlights the blind spots that consumers have when it comes to the “fine print” of checking account agreements. A great overview and only 3 minutes long! Pair this video with the NGPF Fine Print: Reading the Fine Print of Your Checking Account and you will have savvy students when it comes to checking fees!

Key questions for your students:

By |February 20th, 2017|Checking Accounts, Debit Cards, Research, Video Resource|

Question: In What Year Was The First A.T.M. Installed (And Other Fun Facts About Banking)?

Answer: 1969.

Good opener to this 1,000 word article (about 5 minutes reading time) on the history of banking from NerdWallet. Here are a few interesting points (some of which I even remember!):

By |February 13th, 2017|Article, Checking Accounts, Current Events, Question of the Day|

Question: What Is the Number One Reason Millennials Switch Checking Accounts?

Answer: No-fee ATMs

From Credit Union Times:

By |February 5th, 2017|Checking Accounts, Debit Cards, Question of the Day|

Question: How Do Banks Make Money Off Free Checking Accounts?

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Answer: Checking accounts provide banks with a cheap source of funds (they pay almost no interest on them) that they then loan out at much higher interest rates. So, for example, say I deposit $1,000 into a checking account paying 0% interest and the bank lends that $1,000 to a credit card customer paying 15%, the bank earns $150 in interest from the credit card customer and pays me bupkis:)

From Motley Fool’s analysis of a bank, Bank of Marin, that has increased their percentage of checking accounts that are FREE:

By |January 25th, 2017|Checking Accounts, Current Events|

Videos: What Was Considered Good Financial Advice In the 1940s and 50s?

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Put this in the category of “not so current events.” Something about my impending birthday has me getting nostalgic for the “good ole days.” I stumbled across this trove of videos from the 1940s which would have been the financial advice that my teenage Mom would have been given. Here are some of the highlights that I thought you would enjoy (with questions):

  • Keeping a Budget: Your Thrift Habits (it’s 10 minutes long, but the first five minutes will give you plenty to discuss):
    • How was Ralph able to buy his camera?
    • What was the budget method that worked for Ralph (full disclosure: this was how I kept track of my newspaper route revenues)?  How did he track his progress toward saving for his camera?
    • Is it easy to make a budget work? Why or why not?
    • What are Jack’s sources of income?
    • What are Jack’s regular expenses? irregular expenses?
    • Why did Jack find it difficult to save?
    • What would be on your list of “Watch these expenses?”
    • Identify an item that you would like to save for and break it down to how much you need to save per week.
By |January 23rd, 2017|Budgeting, Checking Accounts, Investing, Savings, Stocks, Video Resource|