Healthy You, Healthy BECU
BECU is stronger when our members and communities are financially healthy. Through strategic efforts, we focused on increasing your financial health and the health of the communities in which we serve by offering member programs and $5.7 million in funding to key nonprofit partners.
Dollars & Sense: Our Financial Health Efforts
The knowledge and capability to better manage your finances is important to your overall financial health. Because BECU values financial health, we educated more than 18,000 BECU and community members through classes, workshops, and programs – free of charge.
Funding the Future: BECU & Youth
In 2018, we helped 15,174 students throughout the region get wise to a dollar’s worth. Our programs included classroom presentations, digital interactive financial education, Financial Reality Fairs, our Annual Day of Service, educational materials for families and smart savings accounts for kids.
BECU has offered me an invaluable experience to real financial issues around saving, spending, borrowing and planning. [The financial reality fair] was challenging, fun, and definitely beneficial!" —Michael Z., BECU member and BECU Foundation scholarship recipient
Financial Reality Fairs
Teens often need assistance in learning about real-world money know-how. Last year, we increased the number of “Financial Reality Fairs” at local high schools and family-friendly events. Teens downloaded a smartphone app and adopted an adult persona – complete with a job, salary, debt and responsibilities. They then navigated budgeting simulations and financial realities (such as paying rent and utilities), while BECU employees acted as “salespeople” and applied high-pressure tactics for items like a new car or housing. The result: financial edutainment (educational entertainment, get it?).
Comments we hear from kids who participate in our financial reality fairs include, ‘Oh, this is what my parents go through. I had no idea,’ and ‘Being an adult is expensive." —Martin V., Senior Manager of Community Programs
Annual Day of Service
More than 1,900 BECU employees led Financial Reality Fairs for over 8,000 students in 16 schools across Washington on our Annual Day of Service. In addition, nearly 100 BECU employees volunteered with additional Puget Sound nonprofit partners, including Habitat for Humanity, Puyallup Food Bank and Tacoma Rescue Mission.
The Next Big Talk
There are so many important conversations between parents and teens on critical issues, and we want you to be ready for the next difficult discussion, one often forgotten – the subject of spending, saving and borrowing money. Our Next Big Talk program offers a printable Money Talk Guide with conversation starters, tips and activities for parents and teens that reinforce smart money management. Our Next Big Talk was a little bigger in 2018 as we debuted our conversation guide in Spanish.
Early Saver Accounts
To encourage kids under 18 to start saving while young, our Early Saver Accounts earn premium interest rates on the first $500 in deposits. No fees, no minimum balances, and mobile and online banking access for teens 13 and up.
Savings Smarts for Adults
Financial Health Checks
Like any preventive checkup, our free Financial Health Check provides members with an understanding of their current financial health and makes actionable recommendations for a financially healthier lifestyle in under an hour. We’re proud that 41 percent of our 1,090 participants took small actions that can lead to big changes (while on the phone with us!): automating savings, using online tools for budgeting, setting up alerts and creating reminders to monitor balances.
Access to Financial Education
BECU’s webinars, in-person classes, self-paced courses and seminars (most of which are free!) are offered throughout Puget Sound, Spokane and on the internet. BECU classes educated members as they looked to buy their first home, prepared for retirement and reduced debt.