How to Give Your High School Grad Financial Super Powers

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Zions Bank Press Release

As the Avengers wrap up their on-screen movie journey, Carbon and Emery County’s graduating high school seniors are experiencing their own ‘”Endgame” this month. This means stepping into a new frontier of financial freedom and responsibility that will test them in new and exciting ways. Don Milne, Zions Bank financial literacy manager, offers the following tips to help your high school graduate become the money-managing superhero of their own epic adventure:

Get the right tools for the job. It doesn’t take a mystical tool like Thor’s enchanted hammer to manage your money superbly — just a basic savings and checking account with debit card. Surprisingly, not all high school seniors have this fundamental financial tool they need to succeed. Your high school graduate should be able to qualify for a student account with no or minimal fees.

Hulk up. Your high schooler doesn’t need gamma radiation to build financial muscle. Rather, building a strong credit profile will help boost their credit score, which could impact their ability to someday buy a car, a house, rent an apartment and even land a job. Newly-minted grads can start building credit by paying bills on time and, if they have the self-control, getting a credit card that they pay off each month. A secured credit card is a good choice for beginners because you can’t into the red.

Build resilience. Just as biotechnology protects Black Widow from aging and disease, an emergency fund can offer similar protective powers for your grad’s financial health. A $500 cash reserve may save them from relying on a high-interest option — or worse, you — when hardship hits. Encourage young adults to set aside savings on a regular basis — a practice that will benefit them for years to come.

Maximize learning. Tony Stark would never have become Ironman with first attaining the education needed to build these amazing flying suits. Don’t be satisfied with a high school diploma. Your new high school grad can reach full potential by continuing on to college or trade school. They may be the one to build Ironman suits for real.

See the future and make plans now to win. Dr. Strange was able to use the time stone to see the future. Teens that look into the far future can score big with investing. If a teen invested $500 in mutual funds each year for four years, there is a good chance it would grow to $100,000 or more, tax free, by retirement. That’s investing less than $10 a week, but the secret is to start as a teen. The power of compound interest lessens with age.

Keep the end-game in mind. Whether your senior dreams of a trip to Europe, like Spiderman in his next movie, or trading in his/her bus pass for a new set of wheels, talk to them about their goals and help them map out a plan — otherwise known as a budget — to attain them.

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