Category: Students

Friday Night Lights: The Impact Sports Can Make

Lacing up their cleats. Stretching before the big game. Countless hours practicing. In the moment, your child might not realize it, but they’re doing more than just preparing to win a championship or set a new state record. They are developing skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Sports have long been known to not only help kids develop physically but mentally and emotionally as well. In addition to becoming physically fit, do you know the other benefits of your kids participating in youth sports?

  1. Develop Teamwork and Leadership Skills – Like most things in life, especially in the work place, projects are rarely a solo venture. Generally, you’re working alongside others to accomplish a common goal. Athletics create a wonderful environment to help kids learn how to cooperate with others, be responsible and take accountability for their actions and decisions. If someone misses the shot, they own it. If there isn’t cooperation on the field, it’s noticeable. With 75 percent of employers saying teamwork and collaboration is “very important,” it’s a great soft skill to help instill in your kids at a young age.
  2. Strategic Thinking – Participating in sports is more than just kicking a ball around or running laps. It’s about planning ahead, reading your opponent and developing a game plan. Much like the skills required for managing personal finances, sports help develop those strategic thinking skills and encourage forethought prior to making decisions. In addition to those skills, sports also fosters discipline, which is great to have in many facets of life including savings for future purchases or even retirement.
  3. Build Confidence – With the intention of being a fun outlet for young athletes, sports can also play a dramatic role in helping boost and build one’s self-confidence. Through sports, players learn to not fear failure, learn how to work towards a collective goal and the see firsthand the importance of preparation. It’s also a great way for children to learn about weaknesses and the benefits of practice and persistence.

While most athletes won’t go on to be professionals, they will reap the benefits of being exposed to sports and the life lessons that come along with being on a team. If you’re looking to help your student athlete become more prepared for the world of finances, we encourage you to stop on by one of our locations and learn about which products/services might be right to help set them up for future success.

Teaching Your Children the Basics of Online Security

Security

If you’re like many parents in the United States, your preteens and teenagers may be running circles around you when it comes to utilizing the latest technology. Whether that’s Facebook’s latest updates, new iPhone technology, or the latest app hitting the scene, the amount of new knowledge and innovation seems endless. For your growing adults, this may look more like an endless playground than a minefield, but at times it can be both. To help your children use technology while still remaining safe we recommend these simple suggestions:

Passwords are important. Instead of defaulting to the same password for every account, explain to your son or daughter why they should have a complex password for each separate account. Leary cyber criminals are able to gain access to all your accounts instead of only one when they discover the passwords are all the same. The strongest passwords contain lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Great apps like LastPass can help to store all current passwords in addition to creating stronger password options.

Privacy matters. On Facebook and most other social media outlets, there are always options to make your profile private or public. For children, and adults, we strongly recommend keeping your personal online profile private. While you and your children can connect with friends and other known acquaintances, it can become dangerous to push your information out to anyone who wants to read it. For instance, if you post about leaving for a family vacation, and the profile is set to public, potential thieves could now view your home as an easy target while you’re away.

Don’t talk to strangers. Just as you had the “Stranger danger,” discussion with your son or daughter when they were younger, this message follows a similar point, but within the chat rooms and friend requests online. While in an ideal world, we wouldn’t face issues like catfishing or cyberbullying, the truth is that these actions can cause real world issues and aren’t always left online. To keep promote in-person communication, remind them of the importance of speaking with friends and family outside of the web, and if they ever do need someone to talk to you and your family are always there to listen.

Only use secure wifi. After school, your teen may head to a part-time job or extracurricular. If they’ll be going away from your home or school, be sure to encourage them to steer clear of unsecure wifi. While many afterschool hotspots offer free wifi for customers, often there may be potential cybercriminals broadcasting a false signal. These unsecure signals can give them access to your child’s computer if the wifi is accepted. The criminal could then access personal information, passwords, or hold the computer access for ransom. To avoid situations like this, instruct your teen or preteen to only use wifi at home and at school unless you have approved of an additional location such as the library.

Teach your children how to use the internet responsibly, and perhaps they can show you how to capitalize on the creative and efficiency tools it offers. At Titonka Savings Bank, we think that family is one of the most valuable parts of life and we want to help your family grow. If you’d like to start a checking or saving account for your teen or preteen, stop in today, we’d love to help you get started.

Student Loan PSA: What Student Debt Really Looks Like

Mobile Banking

Obtaining your secondary education can be a landmark goal on your journey to success. By opening up opportunities, and enhancing your capabilities, the study of a discipline gives you the skills you need to conquer your future ambitions. More often than not, student loans offer a helpful supplement when financing this experience. However, many students are able to obtain these financial aids without having to budget or offer a credit history, causing a higher likelihood of default among student borrowers. To help avoid this, Titonka Savings Bank suggests answering the following questions before choosing how to pay for your collegiate participation:

 

What are you starting with?

The first question you should ask yourself is, ‘What money do I have to begin my education?’ If you have applied for and received scholarships, those should first count towards tuition and books. Additionally, if you have any financial support from relatives, these funds may be allocated best at the base of your budget during your college planning. By totaling the sum of these two amounts, you can determine the support outside your own savings that will be contributed towards your future learning efforts. Knowing whether or not this amount will be offered on a recurring basis can help you then decide what financial steps you need to take in order to save, earn, and/or borrow the remaining funds necessary.

 

How much and how often can you contribute?

After learning your total amount of support, it is now possible to create a plan of action to facilitate the rest. Depending on your length and type of education, your costs may vary drastically. When selecting both a field and institution of study, the factor of price is an important one to consider. By thinking of your education as an investment, you can ensure that you choose both a rewarding and promising career path to help you repay any debt you do incur during this time. To help decrease overall expenditures, many students take on a part-time job to supplement the costs of their education, along with the associated room and board. Utilizing this choice can decrease the overall amount of your anticipated loan, and help you avoid the additional expense of interest. Should the cost of your education still be more than you can currently cover, the option of a student loan may be a viable solution.

 

What is student debt?

While obtaining an education has potential and opportunities, the accompanying debt can often be overbearing. In order to minimize this, we recommend borrowing only the minimum amount needed. By opting for a lesser sum, you are able to save your future-self hundreds or thousands of dollars on interest alone. For example, the average debt for a United States student is approximately $37,172. With borrowers averaging ten years for repayment, the potential cost of interest alone can add up to over $9,000.

 

Choosing the best option to finance your education can affect your life well past college. To help you make the most informed decisions, our team at Titonka Savings Bank offers sound financial advice and information. To learn more, stop by one of our locations, we’d love to get to know you and your education aspirations.