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Washington, D.C. (August 24, 2017)—As summer comes to an end and America’s high school students get ready to hit the books, the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), the nation’s community bankers and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy want to put students on the path toward financial proficiency.

“Getting information and hands-on money management experience at the high school level helps students better control their finances as adults,” said ICBA Chairman Scott Heitkamp, and president and CEO of ValueBank Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas. “Community banks across the country are available to help students and their parents establish fiscally responsible habits.”

Studies show that financial education in the classroom, coupled with parental support at home, have the greatest impact on improving students’ financial literacy. “Our partners—including ICBA—provide resources and guidance to support financial education students may get in the classroom or at home,” said Laura Levine, president and CEO of the Jump$tart Coalition. “Parents can incorporate their own values and household circumstances into the learning, which reinforces personal relevance and the importance of building good financial habits.”

ICBA and Jump$tart Coalition offer the following tips to high school students and their parents on shoring up money management skills:

  • 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 to follow and measure your progress over time.
  • Start a savings account if you don’t have one already. It will help fund future purchases, and in the meantime, you’ll be earning interest.
  • For working-age students, consider part-time employment. You will learn more about personal responsibility and have an opportunity to manage daily and long-term expenses.
  • Track what you spend to develop good budgetary habits and avoid making impulse purchases. Many personal finance apps are available online to help you track your spending.
  • Learn about credit. Talk with your parents and your local community banker about the complexities of using credit cards. They will discuss the responsibilities associated with these forms of payment to help you establish and maintain good credit when the time comes.
  • Gain perspective on risk and reward. Understanding how stocks, bonds and mutual funds can affect an investment portfolio shows you how financial decisions can grow or shrink your savings into retirement. Some high school classes and financial literacy-based websites provide simulations of how these investments work in the real world.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 5,800 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.

About Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy
The Jump$tart Coalition is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the personal financial literacy of students in pre-kindergarten through college. Jump$tart’s nearly 150 national partners and 51 affiliated state coalitions work individually and collectively to educate and prepare our nation’s youth for life-long financial success. Jump$tart is the original promoter of April as Financial Literacy Month and publisher of the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education. For more information about the Jump$tart Coalition, go to jumpstart.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.