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BECU Focuses on Money Management for Teens

Credit union empowers students with its Annual Day of Service and Next Big Talk resources

Just as parents are mindful of their child's physical, mental and emotional health, BECU is focused on their financial health. As part of this, BECU is hosting its Annual Day of Service on Oct. 8 at 16 high schools across Washington state. The credit union is also extending resources beyond the classroom by offering parents the tools they need to spark the Next Big Talk with their teens.

“BECU believes in the power of teaching teens about healthy financial habits and finding future moments to reinforce the cause and effect of their choices,” said Tom Berquist, BECU's senior vice president of Marketing and Cooperative Affairs. “Through financial education activities like our Annual Day of Service, students are learning that making smart choices early on can positively influence the life they want to live as adults.”

Service at schools statewide

On Oct. 8, BECU will close its doors for its Annual Day of Service where nearly 2,000 employees will host financial reality fairs for more than 8,000 students at 16 high schools in the Puget Sound area and Spokane.

At the fairs, students will use an app to balance a budget based on an assigned persona, family and income. Students will visit stations to make spending decisions about transportation, housing, entertainment and more. The goal of the Annual Day of Service is to create realistic financial choices for teens in a setting where they can evaluate each choice and receive coaching while navigating the decision-making process to live within the means of their persona.

Encouraging the Next Big Talk

To extend its financial education resources to all students and families, BECU is providing parents with the information, tools and encouragement necessary to speak with their teens about finances. The credit union is inspired by the belief that having the money talk is just as important as the other big talks parents need to have with their kids, such as the “birds and bees,” alcohol and bullying.

The Next Big Talk conversation guide (available in English and Spanish on BECU.org) features questions, tips and activities for parents and teens that reinforce the four areas of financial health: spend, save, borrow and plan.

Extending the Co-op's reach

This year, BECU is also sharing financial education resources with teachers who are participating in the Annual Day of Service to emphasize important lessons on budgeting and financial planning that they can use in their classroom. This includes activities from the Next Big Talk conversation guide.

For the first time, nearly 100 BECU employees will also participate in other local service projects across Puget Sound. BECU's Annual Day of Service non-profit partners include: FIRST Washington, Forterra, Habitat for Humanity (King County and Pierce County), Puyallup Food Bank and Tacoma Rescue Mission.

Each year, BECU's Annual Day of Service falls on Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day, a federal bank holiday and a day when the credit union's financial centers have traditionally been closed.