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Teaching kids financial literacy

Teaching kids financial literacy doesn’t just come from a book

With our appetites to pay by card and online continuing to increase, traditional money boxes could be entering retirement. So, with limited exposure to ‘real money’, how do we teach kids the fundamentals of finance?

Taking the mystery out of money at an early age can make the difference of creating an adult who is who is good with money, as opposed to one who isn’t.

Jose George, Canstar general manager explains:
“Financial ignorance can have a huge impact on a person’s life. Not only can it mean making unwise choices with the money they have, it can also impact their ability to do things as simple as reviewing their day-to-day living costs such as mortgage and insurance right through to wealth creation and failing to save for retirement.

“The OECD has observed that in an increasingly complex world, financial literacy is a core life skill for participating in modern society. So, it makes sense we’re getting kids involved as early as possible. Here in New Zealand that has been recognised and last years’ Government announcement of a funding boost for financial education in schools was very welcome. However, for our future generations to be financially savvy, a collaborative approach between schools, family and the financial services sector is needed to foster success.”

Click here to see on how one school is taking a practical approach to teaching kids about finance.

The core of kids banking is growing
It has long been recognised that junior and youth bank accounts service very different needs to those of everyday bank accounts. Predominantly an investment tool, children’s accounts have traditionally been vanilla savings products. In recent years however, as the financial services industry has evolved, the services being offered to young customers have become far more comprehensive.

“There is now a much larger emphasis on education and teaching kids about budgeting, saving, borrowing and the value of money.” Says George. “Banks are embracing kids love of technology and producing blogs, videos and even digital money boxes to focus the minds of our up and coming generations. And the signs are positive, with the most recent reports suggesting that New Zealand students are demonstrate above the average levels of financial literacy in OECD global assessments and studies.

Junior Banking
For the third year running, ASB has been awarded Canstar’s Bank of the Year – Junior Banking.

As well as offering the leading rates for junior savings accounts (2.25% vs a market average of 1.06% assuming conditions are met), ASB has expanded its catalogue of interactive games and tools available on its website. In addition, GetWise, ASBs school education programme has also been developed further and now offers 11 different subject areas including credit and loans.

Canstar award winning Digital piggy bank, Clever Kash also encourages children to save by giving real time information on how much the child has accumulated in their account, a great incentive to focus on long-term goals.

ASB were also awarded Bank of the Year – Tertiary Banking. This award recognises the institution offering the best range of products and services targeted to tertiary students.

Youth Banking
Westpac also retained their Bank of the year – Youth Banking.

Maintaining their market leading approach, Westpac have increased the numbers of seminars and workshops they run each year to include topics such as getting a job and KiwiSaver. In addition, their website offers users a number of helpful budgeting tools and calculators as well as video tutorials and educational literature. For young adults, Westpac’s Online Bonus Saver offers a total rate of 2.10% when the conditions are met and for teenagers looking to for a transaction account the electronic account is a fee free option which has access to a leading online banking platform and ATM coverage

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