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National campaign provides financial literacy for teens and young adults

Rebecca Barnabi
(© Кирилл Рыжов – stock.adobe.com)

The American Bankers Association Foundation and banks in the Commonwealth are getting behind a campaign to teach teens and young adults how to manage their money.

“Get Smart About Credit” is a national campaign from which banks in Virginia share tips and information on topics including credit use, identification protection, paying for college, saving for unexpected expenses and pursuing careers in banking.

Shared through classroom presentations, social media channels and in-branch activities, banks in Virgnia offer seven tips for students:

  1. You are in charge. Managing your money is your job and creating a realistic
  2. budget sets you up for success.
  3. Watch your spending. The lesson of needs vs. wants is simple. Pace spending and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses, such as eating out or shopping.
  4. Use credit wisely. Understand the benefits of credit card use, as well as the responsibilities. How you handle your credit could affect you long after you graduate. Pay as much as you, as soon as you can and always pay before the due date.
  5. Take advantage of your bank’s services. Banks are not just money vaults. They offer valuable sources about check cashing, debit cards, mobile and online banking, balance alerts, personal loans, direct deposit, financial education and identify theft protection.
  6. Be cautious about money. Don’t trust just anyone with your money.
  7. Save, save, save. It’s important to be financially prepared when the unexpected happens: your car breaks down or another emergency happens. No matter how small, save what you can.
  8. Handling money is a learning experience. If you need help, ask questions. Start with your parents or your banker, the sooner the better.

“Get Smart About Credit gives us an opportunity to equip young Virginians with the financial knowledge they need to prepare for the unexpected and ultimately be successful,” Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) President & CEO Bruce Whitehurst said in a press release. “Virginia banks look forward to sharing a range of helpful resources and participating in this important campaign.”

Banks participating in the program include:

  • Atlantic Union Bank
  • Burke & Herbert Bank
  • Chesapeake Bank
  • First Bank & Trust Co.
  • Fulton Bank
  • MVB Bank
  • Oak View National Bank
  • Old Point National Bank
  • Primis Bank
  • Shore United Bank
  • Skyline National Bank
  • The Bank of Southside Virginia
  • The Farmers Bank of Appomattox
  • TowneBank
  • United Bank


Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.