Financial Literacy is Key to Effective Money Management for Teens...and the Whole Family

June 17, 2024
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan once stated, “Financial education is a process that should begin at an early age and continue throughout life. This cumulative process builds the skills necessary for making critical financial decisions.”
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At BCT, we understand the importance of helping our community’s youth build a strong financial foundation so that they better understand basic concepts like budgeting, simple interest, and establishing and maintaining good credit.

According to the Council for Economic Education’s Survey of the States, only 30 states in the U.S. require high school students to take a course in personal finance and only 25 states require students to take an economics course. While this denotes a marked improvement since CEE’s first survey in 1998, there remains a sizeable financial education knowledge gap.

BCT believes that financial capability education, improves the financial health outlook for our youth and better prepares them to tackle unexpected financial situations or prepare for significant life milestones like paying for college, purchasing a home, opening a business, or building a nest egg.

BCT offers the following tips for Gen Z and their parents to shore up money management skills and prepare for the post-graduate workforce:

  • Set Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Trackable goals. Choose your priorities—whether it’s saving for a computer or building an emergency fund—and make sure they are achievable. Create a plan of action and measure your progress over time. 
  • Start a savings account (if you don’t have one already). BCT offers automatic transfer services to move a set amount from your checking account to savings monthly.
  • For working-age students, consider part-time or seasonal employment. You will learn more about personal responsibility and have an opportunity to manage expenses.
  • Track your spending and avoid making impulse purchases. Create a budget and review it periodically to make necessary adjustments.
  • Gain perspective about risk and reward. Knowing how stocks, bonds and mutual funds can affect an investment portfolio shows you how financial decisions can grow—or shrink—your savings. Some high school classes and financial literacy-based websites, provide simulations of how these investments work in the real world.
  • Learn about credit scores—a representation of your financial past, present, and future. Use BCT’s “Credit Score” feature within your Online and Mobile Banking where you’ll find not only your credit score but tips to help you establish and maintain good credit.

BCT also offers the free Censtables Financial Education program.  Educational information is categorized by age groups: Children, Teenagers, Millennials, Adults, and Mature Adults.  There are excellent tutorials and practice modules.

Having the knowledge about how to best manage your money is just the start. When young adults practice proper money management techniques early, they’re more inclined to make effective financial decisions throughout life. The sooner your children start to grasp these concepts, the more apt they’ll be for a better financial future. 

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About the Company

Founded in 1871, BCT - Bank of Charles Town, also known as The Community's Bank, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Potomac Bancshares, Inc. (OTC:PTBS). With approximately $855 million in assets as of March 31, 2024, the Company conducts operations through its main office, an additional eight branch offices, and two loan production offices.  BCT’s offices are located in Jefferson and Berkeley Counties (WV), Washington County (MD), and Loudoun and Stafford Counties (VA). The Bank provides various banking products and services including free access to over 55,000 ATMs through the Allpoint® network plus  another approximately 675 free access ATMs through another partnership.  The Bank provides convenient online and mobile banking for individuals, businesses, and local governments. The Bank also offers commercial lines and term loans, residential and commercial construction loans, commercial real estate loans, agricultural loans, and government contractor loans.  The Bank is also a Small Business Administration (SBA) Preferred Lender.  The Residential Lending division offers secondary market and portfolio mortgage loans, one-time close construction to perm loans, as well as home equity loans and lines of credit.  For over 70 years, BCT Wealth Advisors has provided trust services, growing into a premier financial management, investments, and estate services provider.  In 2023, American Banker selected BCT as a “Top 200 Community Bank,” an annual listing of the best performing banks in the United States with assets under $2 billion.  BCT was voted a “Best of the Best” winner in the 2023 Journal-News Readers’ Choice Awards in four categories:  Bank, Mortgage Company, Loan Services, and Financial Planning.  In 2023, 2021, 2020, and 2019 the Bank was named a “Best Bank To Work For” by American Banker.

 

The Company's shares are quoted on the OTC Pink Sheet marketplace under the symbol "PTBS." For more information about Potomac Bancshares, Inc., and the Bank, please visit our website at www.mybct.bank.