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Banzai! Financial Education for Juniors

September 10, 2018

Young kid uses Banzai Financial Education Program

Start Your Child Learning About Money

Play Banzai Junior

Banzai Junior is an interactive money game made especially for kids ages 8-12. Players simulate running a lemonade stand to make money and save for something they want. In this case, it’s a new bike or hoverboard. They practice making basic business decisions, paying expenses, borrowing money, and saving, sometimes without even realizing they’re doing it! To them it’s just a fun game. To you, they’re learning important money life skills. By playing the game and simulating the results of real-world decisions, they learn about how to spend and save properly, and set goals for themselves. 

To get started, you’ll simply need to sign in with an email, and create a unique password. Your child can go through as many times as they like. If they need to stop before they are finished, the program will allow them to jump right back in.

This is a fun way to share financial advice and lessons with your kids, and help them learn values to Live Smarter throughout their lives.

Kids can get started here:

Banzai Junior is part of our full Banzai Financial Education Program, consisting of FREE online financial literacy modules, providing education directly to our Members, to members of our community, and to local schools and teachers for use in their classrooms. They are all available online in self-paced, age-appropriate, fun and interactive modules. We believe that learning more about money management can help us all Live Smarter.
 

Banzai! Financial Education for Young Adults

September 10, 2018

Young adult man using Banzai Financial Education Program

Learn About Managing Your Money, Borrowing, and Understanding Credit

Play Banzai Plus

Banzai Plus is an interactive financial management game specifically designed for young adults ages 18 and up. Players simulate the home-buying process by allocating their income over several paychecks to different budgeted needs, paying unexpected bills, saving for a mortgage down payment, and learning about credit scores.

You receive a lifelike credit score that responds to your decisions in the game, so you can understand the consequences or positive impact of your financial decisions on your credit score, and how that can impact your borrowing. This is a great place to simulate the experience before needing to do this with real money. The module allows you to try as many times as you like, making different choices and seeing how they affect your outcomes.

To get started, simply sign in with your email, and create a unique password. You can go through as many times as you like. If you need to stop before you are finished, the program will allow you to jump right back in.

We can all learn more about managing our money, and Banzai Plus is a great place to begin. Start on your path to making educated financial choices, and Live Smarter.

Get started here:

Banzai Plus is part of our full Banzai Financial Education Program, consisting of FREE online financial literacy modules, providing education directly to our Members, to members of our community, and to local schools and teachers for use in their classrooms. They are all available online in self-paced, age-appropriate, fun and interactive modules. We believe that learning more about money management can help us all Live Smarter.
 

Banzai! Financial Education for Teens

September 10, 2018

Teen using the Banzai Financial Education Program

Learn About Money and Making Financial Choices

Play Banzai Teen

Banzai Teen is an interactive money game specifically designed for teens ages 13-18. Players simulate saving for college with a full-time job, living on their own, and handling important everyday decisions for living expenses, transportation, utilities, and more. Your choices affect the outcomes, in a safe space to try “what-ifs” with your money decisions. You can try as many times as you want, and find different ways to make things work before encountering these choices in the real world. 

To get started, simply sign in with your email, and create a unique password. You can go through as many modules as many times as you like. If you need to stop before you are finished, the program will allow you to jump right back in.

Gain skills while learning some basics about managing money, to Live Smarter.

Get started here:

Banzai Teen is part of our full Banzai Financial Education Program, consisting of FREE online financial literacy modules, providing education directly to our Members, to members of our community, and to local schools and teachers for use in their classrooms. They are all available online in self-paced, age-appropriate, fun and interactive modules. We believe that learning more about money management can help us all Live Smarter.
 

Posted in: kids, learn, management, money, teens

Financial Friday at the Children’s Museum

August 17, 2018

Young boy learning the importance of a dollar

It’s Never Too Early to Start Your Child’s Financial Education

On Friday August 24th at the Utica Children’s Museum, we will be hosting a fun filled financial event, where we’ll be teaching kids about the value of a dollar. This interactive financial literacy program is a great way to show children the importance of money, where it comes from and the value it holds. 

Kids will have the opportunity to speak with First Source representatives, ask questions, earn their own “paycheck” and decide how best to save, spend, and even donate their money to community causes in the First Source Kid’s Branch, located on the first floor of the museum. Two separate sessions are available for families that are interested in signing their children up for the event. 

We are proud to be able to partner with the Children’s Museum in educating our children about the importance of developing good financial habits.

How to Start Saving For Your Kids’ College

August 2, 2018

Parents help young children with homework as they prepare for attending college somedayEducation Savings Account vs. a 529 Plan

There are several options when saving for your children’s college expenses. It’s important to understand them and choose what’s best for you. Along with regular savings options, First Source offers a New York State 529 College Savings Plan, and a Coverdell Education Savings Account. What is a 529 plan? The 529 Savings Plan is a good option if your children are relatively young, you’re going to commit to saving regularly, and you have the time (you start early). The 529 plan has a higher contribution limit of $10,000/year, and anyone can contribute. Let’s say it’s your child’s birthday: all party attendees could give money as a gift toward this account.


How does a 529 Plan work? 

In a 529 Plan, your account earnings grow without you having to pay federal taxes on them, and some states (like New York) have other tax benefits as well. When your 529 funds are withdrawn and used for education, the funds are tax-free (with some restrictions). And you don’t have to use them only as savings for college; covered expenses also include private elementary or secondary school tuition. If you want to withdraw the funds for something other than education, that’s ok, too, though you will have to pay taxes and fees. Find more information online at nysaves.org.


What is a Coverdell Education Savings Account?

The Coverdell Education Savings Account is a good option for a family on a tighter budget. You can contribute up to $2,000/year, and any individual whose modified adjusted gross income is under the limit set for a given tax year can make contributions. Contributors must contribute by the due date of their tax return (not including extensions). The funds can be used for either college or private schools, and cover a wider range of K-12 expenses. The funds must be used by the time your student reaches age 30, unless there is a special needs situation. No states currently offer state tax deductions for Coverdell accounts. Ask us for more details if you’re interested in a Coverdell account. 


Choosing a College Savings Plan

There are advantages for each type of account, and many people even save using both Coverdell and 529 accounts. Live Smarter by making an appointment today to meet with one of our Financial Services Representatives to discuss your best college savings plan approach. 

 
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Posted in: 529, account, college, plan, savings

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