Archive for the ‘ Youth ’ Category

Summer Reading – Financial Books for Kids and Teens

School is out for summer! While kids and teens may want to fill their days with playing outside, screen time or even a seasonal job, reading should be on their summer to-do list as well. The benefits of summer reading are endless! Not only is reading a life-long skill, summer reading can help keep your skills sharp and challenge your brain and who knows… you might just learn something.  

Reading and Discussion 

Parents, did you know reading to your kids can help with their skills in communication, literacy, comprehension, listening and more? While middle and high schoolers are likely reading on their own, it is still important to engage with them about what they are reading. Book discussions are a great idea. Grab your own copy of the book they are reading and read it yourself. Whether you are reading to your kids or with them, strike up a conversation about the book. Book discussions can facilitate questions, new perspectives and foster understanding and growth at any age. 

Book Topics Matter 

While reading books is important for kids and teens, your book topic is equally as important. Books about money and finances are excellent resources to educate them about the power of saving, sharing and spending. This knowledge could help shape their financial decisions in the future. As Sir Francis Bacon once said, “knowledge is power.”  

Undertake Some Self Discovery 

As you read along with your kids or partake on book discussions on financial education, take a closer look at your own habits both literary and financially. Do you read books and are you handling your finances well? While you might not believe they are listening to you 100% of the time, your kids are most definitely watching you. As a parent and role model, before you recommend that they dive into a book or handle their finances better, make sure you are doing the same. Finally, do not forget to remind them that reading and financial education can be FUN! Check out our book suggestions below for your kids in elementary, middle and high school. Happy reading!  

The Cost of Raising a Child From Cradle to Adulthood

Raising a child takes patience, understanding — and about $245,340, based on the latest estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That’s the average cost to care for a child from birth to age 18 for a middle-income family, as calculated by the USDA in a recent report on family expenditures. The estimate excludes prenatal health care and college costs.

If you’re getting ready to have your first child, your life and your spending will change drastically. Here’s a closer look at how the cost breaks down.


Child-rearing expenses typically cost couples with two children between just over $9,000 and nearly $26,000 a year per child, depending on household income and the age of the children, according to the USDA.

The incremental cost of housing is the largest expenditure, accounting for about 30% of the cost of raising a child to adulthood, the report says. That estimate is based on the expectation that a family with children will need at least one extra bedroom. And the estimate of housing costs is conservative, the USDA says, because it does not take into consideration the desire of many parents to live in areas with better schools, for example, which tend to be more expensive.

To prepare for buying a home, you will want to have around 20% of the purchase price saved up for a down payment, although lenders do make exceptions. Consult your credit union for help with mortgage qualification.

Child care and education

The cost burden of child care and education has ballooned since 1960, when it accounted for only 2% of the typical costs of raising a child, to 18% today, according to the USDA report. That is largely due to women’s increased participation in the workforce.

To offset the cost, look into benefits such as the federal Child and Dependent Care Credit, which can reduce your taxes by up to $1,050 a year for a single child and $2,100 for two or more. Also look into alternatives to day care centers such as sharing a nanny with another family or hiring a live-in “au pair.”

If your child goes the private school route, be prepared. The average cost for private elementary school nationwide in 2014-15 was $7,331, and the average cost for private high school was almost twice that, according to PrivateSchoolReview.

For higher education, considering opening a 529 account for your child, which allows you to save for college costs with tax-free earnings and virtually no contribution limits. A Coverdell account can help you build savings for private school or college, although the benefits are more limited.


As your child gets older, grocery bills will increase. Food accounts for 16% of child-rearing expenses, the USDA report says. This includes grocery shopping, dining out and school meals. To save money on food, eat as many homemade meals as you can; it’s considerably cheaper than dining out.

Health care

Your child inevitably will get sick, and even if you have insurance, it won’t cover all the costs. Out-of-pocket expenses for medical and dental services tend to rise as your children grow. Out-of-pocket health care expenses account for about 8% of the cost of raising a child in a typical household, the USDA figures. To save money, look into a health savings account or flexible spending plan, which allow you to pay for qualified health care expenses with pretax income.

Bringing a new life into the world comes with a spectrum of challenges and expenses, so be prepared with new strategies for saving money and building assets. As exciting as parenthood can be, it helps to be ready for it financially, too.

Source: NerdWallet, Inc.

Members 1st is here to help you through all of life’s most important moments and milestones. If you have any questions, please call customer service at (800) 237-7288, visit our website, or visit one of our various branch locations.

Are your kids on the right track to financial independence?


For many of today’s young adults, the weakest link lies in learning the basics. Many teens and college students don’t know how to balance a checking account or create a budget. Achieving economic prosperity is difficult, and it’s especially hard for young people who’ve never learned how to manage money.

Your credit union is ideally positioned to respond because we believe in the power of education. We’re here to help you launch the youth in your life toward financial independence, and here’s how:

Join. For starters, open a credit union savings account for each child in your family. As soon as your children can write, have them fill out deposit and withdrawal slips. Guide teenagers through using a debit card and tracking transactions.

Share. Include your children in household money discussions. Show them how you budget income and expenses. As their skills improve, give them challenges—such as finding a better cell phone plan, calculating the total monthly cost of owning a car, or sticking to a budget for back-to-school or holiday spending.

Coach. Remind your children to ask for help when they need it…and remember to turn to your credit union if that time comes. Our tradition of service and philosophy of self-help make Members 1st and all credit unions a natural partner in pursuing financial security.

We’re here to help. It’s National Credit Union Youth Week and we’re celebrating and helping our youth members “Catch the Save Wave” so they understand the importance of saving, managing money and having a positive relationship with their credit union. For all youth accounts opened through this Saturday (4/26), we’ll deposit the first $5.00. Click here for details and to print out a coupon to bring to your local branch. To learn more about our youth club accounts, click here.

Catch the Save Wave™ During National Credit Union Youth Week!

National Credit Union Youth Week

National Credit Union Youth Week

It’s National Credit Union Youth Week! Now through Saturday (4/26), we’ll be helping our youth members Catch the Save Wave™ so they understand the importance of saving, managing money, and having a good relationship with their credit union.

Children can learn money skills as early as age three! Here are just a few tips to help young credit union surfer savers Catch the Save Wave™:

  • Have young children (preschool age) sort different types of money into piles by color and size.
  • Play grocery store or credit union/bank. Help them use a pretend cash register.
  • At the grocery store, let youth of all ages help you shop. Teach them how to comparison shop. For example, show them that for every $4.85 box of cereal, there may be similar brands on sale for half as much.
  • As youth get older, let them know what things cost. Share sales receipts for items you’ve purchased for them and for bills you’ve paid.
  • If you decide to pay an allowance, include youth in the decision-making process. Discuss allowance amounts and expectations. The amount is your call, but ask for their input. One idea is to have children set aside part of their allowance for spending, part for saving, and part for sharing or charity. Clarify what you’ll pay for and what they are responsible for. For example, when you’re at the movies, maybe you agree to pay for the ticket, but the Milk Duds are on them.
  • As youth reach high-school age, reexamine the rules. Clarify what you will pay for and what your teenager is responsible for. For example, your teenage daughter may want the newest cell phone that comes with a high price tag, so establish your spending limit. If she still wants the more expensive version, have her make up the difference. Oftentimes, once the responsibility of paying for items is on the teenager, the “latest and greatest” isn’t so important.

We’re also helping youth get started with a special offer throughout this week. For all youth accounts opened from now through Saturday, April 26, we’ll deposit the first $5.00. Click here for a coupon to bring to your closest Members 1st branch. You can also download fun pages for the young person in your life and bring them to your favorite branch to help decorate it for National Credit Union Youth Week.

Catch the Save Wave


We’re celebrating the National Youth Savings Challenge in April and National Credit Union Youth Week from April 20 – 26!

The National Youth Saving Challenge, sponsored by GreenPath Debt Solutions, is held during April in conjunction with National Credit Union Youth Week. It’s hosted by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The goal is to start youth on the right path of setting goals and saving to reach them. All month, each time a deposit of $5.00 or more is made into a Kids 1st or iMember account, the youth member will be entered into a random drawing for four Hersheypark tickets!

In addition, we’ll be celebrating and helping our youth members “Catch the Save Wave” so they understand the importance of saving, managing money and having a positive relationship with their credit union. National Credit Union Youth Week runs from April 20 – 26.

Make sure to stop by your local branch to deposit funds into your favorite youth member’s account starting tomorrow! April is also the perfect time to open an account for your favorite young person so they can start saving and be entered to win!

Renter’s insurance a back to school need for college students

College students renting apartments should have renter’s insurance.

Do you have a student heading back to college? If renting an off-campus apartment is part of the back-to-school plan, then as a new or inexperienced renter, the importance of renter’s insurance can’t be stressed enough. A landlord’s insurance only covers his or her own dwelling/property, not the student’s. Students have enough to worry about with classes and paying tuition. Don’t rent without the right coverage.   Students should have peace of mind in knowing they have some added financial protection available to help them cover the loss or replacement of their personal items if there is a fire. Students may have extended coverage under their parent’s policy but it’s best to check the available limit to make sure the coverage is adequate to cover the amount of your personal belongings. This is also a good time to review liability limits to make certain your student’s exposures are taken into consideration.   

Anyone who has insurance should take the time to review their insurance policies and premiums. You could be paying too much. You may have too little insurance. Our Insurance Services team can help you with free quotes, comparisons and with sorting out all of the policy details. Whether your insurance needs range from renters, homeowners and personal auto to dwelling fire, flood, wedding, personal umbrella and more, we offer flexible payment options to fit everyone’s budget. Members 1st Insurance Services is available to PA residents only.

Call or request a free quote today.

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