Tech Tools for High School Students


Blue graphic image with text of podcast title "Tech Tools for High School Students" with an image of a girl on a laptop

Technology has changed the way we do everything and that includes banking. In this week’s edition of Money, I’m Home!, Lynne is joined by Consumers @Work Manager Scott Dobson to discuss some tech tool tips for high school students.


0:00:07.4 Lynne Jarman-Johnson (LJJ): Money, I’m home! Welcome in. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union. From finance to fitness – we have it all. And now is the time that many high schoolers are deciding what’s the next stage, and so we’re here to help you out as parents and students. Joining us today is Scott Dobson, he’s with Consumers Credit Union. Yeah, he’s a financial guru, helping people really get through any financial situations they might be having, but also on the path to success. Scott, thank you so much for joining us today.

0:00:35.2 Scott Dobson (SD): Sure, my pleasure.

0:00:37.7 LJJJ: Well, I am so excited to talk to you today because there is so much change in the financial industry, especially with technology. In the past 10 years since I’ve been with Consumers, we have launched new online banking, we have a five-star mobile app, we have payment to payment options, we have online banking and payment. It becomes that the phone has really become your banking center, almost, with the… Even take a picture of a check and deposit money, it’s just crazy, fun stuff. So, Scott, tell us a little bit about technology and how those tools can help students as they head out into the real world, but also give parents peace of mind to kind of help them along the way.

0:01:23.2 SD: Yeah, sure. If you have a kid that’s heading off into the real world or going off to college and you’re trying to help them do the best financially that you can while they are gone and then maybe if you stay connected with them, there’s definitely a lot of tools out there. In the old days, you would call home on Friday and be like, “Mom and Dad, I’m out of money, send me a check because I need some more of that,” there’s so many tools out there now that you can really help your kids get off on the right foot, pay attention and help manage their personal finances and be engaged with it and be able to see what they’re doing all the time, and help them learn, become young adults and eventually take over their finances on their own. So, there’s so many tools out there to really help step-by step and really give that control over to your kids as they mature and are ready to handle their own money and then be out on their own.

0:02:11.2 LJJ: Scott, when we were back in college or heading out, even for our first job, the things like a debit card… You go to the laundromat, and this is kind of funny, thinking about doing your laundry in college, and many people bring their laundry home, that’s great, but if you didn’t… I remember getting rolls of quarters. You know?

0:02:32.7 SD: Yeah.

0:02:33.1 LJJ: Those days are gone, and so it’s things like the debit card that is so important, which is what? A checking account.

0:02:42.0 SD: Yes, if I’ve got a high school senior that’s going off to college and I really want to help them manage their finances, yes, they want a debit card which is really a checking account. And I think I would probably get a joint checking account with them that you and they can both look at, and you can use together and learn together how to use that account to do the best for your kids so that you can understand what they’re doing financially and guide them in the right way, and they have the tools to take care of their own personal finances, then do their own thing with just maybe some oversight from you to make sure they don’t get themselves in trouble. So, lots of good ways. The first is to get a joint checking account, even if there’s a debit card, by having an account that you’re both on, like you said, you can both use your phone to look at that account and you can make sure that your 19-year-old is not getting themselves into trouble on Friday, Saturday night using their debit card more than they should, and help them with their responsibilities. So, I think that’s the first thing, is both of you to be on the same page and be able to see what they’re doing financially.

0:03:43.7 LJJ: You mentioned helping your student and watching them grow in their own finances, but I think there will be some listeners who will say, “Well, isn’t that kind of like Big Brother?” But what you’re talking about is, no, it’s open communication, it’s education and helping students and young people get on the right track.

0:04:02.9 SD: I think as adults, we know that it’s bad to use your debit card and spend more money that you have. So you do not want to do that. You don’t want to open an account for your 18-year-old and we send them off on their way and have them learn that lesson the hard way, when you could help teach them the easy way. Like, “Hey, you have to understand how much money is in your checking account and you can’t spend more than you have.” But there’s super simple solutions out there for both parties, so all you have to do is set up alerts. We have great technology where you can have an alert on your kid’s account, it could send both of you a text to say”Caution, this account’s below $100” or below $50 or below any threshold that you think is appropriate to help each other out. You can set up an alert for purchases. Do you have an account and you’re like, “Hey, young college kid, this is for emergency only,” and then you get an alert that they spent $14 at Taco Bell on 12:30 AM on a Saturday night. Well, “Hmm, maybe we should have a chat about using their card for only responsible purchases,” so just a lot…

0:05:06.6 LJJ: Now, wait a minute. There is nothing wrong with Taco Bell, guy, come on [0:05:07.9] ____.

0:05:09.6 SD: [laughter] Okay, I could have used a worse example, but I’ll leave it at that.

0:05:16.8 LJJ: Now, one of the things, I think, that we take for granted, because we use it so much, is mobile banking. And so wherever you bank, a mobile app is really the next step in how you are able to track your money, spend your money, know where it’s going and where it’s coming in. Do you find that that’s something that immediately kids automatically know how to download and do, or is it that, hey, they get their debit card and then there’s kind of some fumbling around on what am I supposed to do with it?

0:05:47.2 SD: I think on the technical side, kids can pick up how to download an app, get it going, get their debit card in their hand, probably even set up Apple Pay with their debit card so that they can use Apple Pay to buy stuff. I think the trick is having the maturity and the restraint to not spend more money than you have and to pay attention. So, I think that’s really where the parents come in. It’s not the technology part, your kids are probably going to help you, say, “No, no, no, here’s how to get the mobile app going, here’s where you can see our account, here’s how we set up alert.” It’s the maturity level of, “Hey, little Jimmy, you spent $200 in restaurants last weekend, all your money is gone for the month,” that’s not sustainable. So, I think the technical part, your kids are going to be on it and they’re going to be ahead of you, it’s the maturity part of using reason and logic to say, “I do not have this money to spend.”

0:06:39.0 LJJ: If you are not a… What they now term helicopter or drone parent that has that open relationship, sometimes maybe not so open with your child, how critical is it to have them connect with someone like a manager or a financial teller, even, at our credit union or wherever they bank, so that they can ask the questions that they need to ask without feeling pressure or judgment, like there’s no judgment zone.

0:07:11.4 SD: Very helpful, and it could be very helpful in lowering stress. You and your kids could walk in and you’re saying, “You need to balance your checkbook, you should know how much money you have in your account at all times, this is the way you do it,” your kid’s saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m never going to do that,” and they’re really never going to do that, but if you walk into one of our offices to talk to one of our professionals they are going to say, “No problem, parents, you can look at the account, we’ll put alerts on there to know if you get below $50, we can have that alert on there so you could see where you are. You can see what money goes in and goes out, we can teach you how to… Each of you to feel comfortable.” Your kid does not want to balance their checkbook and do any of those stuff, they want to know that they have money and know when they can spend money and how much they have. And as a parent, you don’t want to be there all the time, but you want to make sure the things are growing right, so we can use technology to help engage you when it’s necessary, but you’re not sitting down with your son or daughter or trying to complete a bank statement every single month. Our staff can really take you and your student and technology and put them all together in a way that’s helpful for all of you. It makes it easier for you to communicate and to move money and to make a difference really, really easily.

0:08:26.9 LJJ: And that’s what we’re here for, to make a difference. Scott, thank you so much. I’m really focusing on technology, and we’ve also talked about learning the same language with your students. So, thank you so much.

0:08:38.8 SD: You got it.

0:08:40.1 LJJ: Hey, thank you for listening in. We’ve got more to come on helping that student of yours head out into the real world. I’d like to thank Jake Esselink for his production skills, and I hope you all have a great week. If you have a topic you’d like us to focus on, please send it our way. Money, I’m home! with Consumers Credit Union.


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