My wife called me the other day gushing about how easy it was to transfer money to our daughter at college. My daughter texted her the receipt for her books and using only one hand, my wife transferred the funds to her account to cover the cost. They both love our mobile app because my daughter can quickly see how much Starbucks she can afford and my wife because she can see how much Starbucks is being consumed. A win-win I would say.
But seriously, my wife felt at ease sending our daughter to college a year early from a financial perspective because she’s been able to monitor and coach our daughter on her spending habits. It’s no accident either. We opened her student checking account when she was 15 because she was highly motivated and got a job. We taught her everything that comes with getting a paycheck like setting some aside into savings, how to track your spending and how to sign up for direct deposit. These are all things that adults must do but she did it at 15.
It is one of our service promises
Making it easy to do business with us is one of the credit union’s service promises and we use it to help us decide which projects to implement and when we review our processes. Several years back, we would get several members contact us as they were ready to send their kids off to college asking about prepaid debit cards to send with their kids. They wanted something that was easy to monitor and be able to easily add funds. We would always respond by letting the members know that all those things are already available but without the prepaid debit card fees – our free checking account.
The credit union also made a concerted effort to promote the student checking account and give parents the tools they needed to monitor their kids’ spending so that when they do go off to college, both the parents and kids already have a high degree of comfort with the process.
Take a deep dive
I highly recommend taking a deep dive into the digital tools at your disposal. You’ll potentially find other ways that can make the financial life of you and your children easier. Just a few examples:
- Account alerts can help you track spending and avoid any issues from getting out of hand
- The spending analytics can help you show your kids where their money is going in an easy to read graphical format
- Using the app to find surcharge free ATMs
- Remote deposits for any checks they may receive
If you have any additional ways that digital tools offered by your credit union are helping you and your child navigate the financial world, I’d love to hear them. My wife and I are always looking for ways to improve in this area too.
Post author: Jamieson Mackay, CCUFC
The opinions expressed on this page are for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of the article and may not reflect the views of the credit union.