Kids encouraged to save with new incentives

Sunshine Coast Credit Union

Christine Wood / Coast Reporter
May 8, 2014 10:46 AM

Nolan McKenna, pictured with senior branch manager Vic Etcheverry, is the first Sunshine Coast youth to take advantage of the “humanomics” youth savings account.

In an effort to help kids learn how to save, the Sunshine Coast Credit Union (SCCU) is offering a new type of account where kids ages 11 and 12 can earn up to $125 just for being good savers.

Studies show that the pre-teens are an excellent target to teach healthy saving and spending habits, as many are just starting to work as babysitters or delivering newspapers, said SCCU manager of marketing Jodi Fichtner.

“So we’re talking to the youth who come in to set up a youth savings account about the importance of saving, donating, investing and spending and we give them a little budget buddy, which is a piggy bank that has each of those areas in it,” Fichtner said.

The money management skills are meant to help youth get into healthy habits now so money problems don’t plague them later.

The new youth savings account comes with an incentive to save — a 20 per cent matching of funds at the end of year one, up to a total of $100. After the third year youth can earn another $25 for carrying a healthy savings balance.

The SCCU is one of five credit unions that have come together to collaborate and find solutions to tackle the high level of debt in Canada.

“These five credit unions recognized that more needed to be done to help develop a nation of smart savers and spenders,” said SCCU CEO Shelley McDade.

The group, which includes the SCCU, Coast Capital Savings, Innovation Credit Union, Prospera Credit Union and Credit Union Atlantic, came up with an initiative dubbed “humanomics” — putting the human factor into economics.

By tackling issues from a different mindset, the group hopes to ultimately lessen the amount of debt in Canada.

The new youth savings account is just the beginning. The Coast community can expect to see more from the humanomics initiative in the future.

“There will be more products and services coming down the pipe,” McDade said.

“In the long term the program is aiming to help families by providing smart advice, simple products and services that give them a break and help them get out of debt, and then looking for more ways and opportunities to help them save.”

You can learn more at www.humanomicscu.ca or by visiting SCCU.


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