OVB celebrates Teach Children to Save

2021 TCTS Pic

Good financial habits begin at an early age. As an effort to stress the importance of financial literacy education for youth, Ohio Valley Bank is once again taking part in the American Bankers Association’s Teach Children to Save campaign.

OVB has participated in the Teach Children to Save initiative for several years. While Teach Children to Save Day will take place Thursday, April 22, OVB plans to celebrate all spring. New additions to the OVB Virtual Classroom are planned. Check out the bank’s current Teach Children to save content here.

Established by the ABA Foundation in 1997, Teach Children to Save as well as the foundation’s other financial education campaigns have helped reach 10.5 million youth through the commitment of more than 260,000 banker volunteers.

“Financial literacy is a major key to preparing our youth to face the challenges of adulthood,” OVB Communications Specialist Hope Roush said. “The pandemic especially showed how vital it is to stress the importance of saving. Teach Children to Save is a wonderful program that coincides with financial literacy month in April. One of the major focuses of our education programs is providing youth with essential financial skills early in life to better prepare them to make sound financial choices as adults.”

Roush added that the bank’s financial education programs are geared toward a variety of ages and can be customized to fit specific needs.

Currently, OVB is offering live or pre-recorded virtual presentations. The OVB Virtual Classroom was created last year as an effort to bring interactive savings lessons to area youth during the early challenges of the pandemic, which resulted in school closures and a shift to remote learning. The classroom has grown and has also allowed the bank to expand their financial literacy reach. More content is planned to celebrate Teach Children to Save and will be added to the classroom soon. Also check out our Financial Fun Friday lessons on this blog for activities you can do as a family. Our latest two lessons focus on budgeting. Check out our dinner budget game here and our financial take on the classic Easter egg hunt here. Be sure to like and follow OVB on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for new lesson announcements and for other bank related news.

To bring financial discussions to your home, the ABA recommends the following tips to raise money-savvy kids:

  • Set the example. Being financially responsible by prioritizing saving and paying bills on time will show your children the importance of implementing these money management skills. Children often follow their parents’ examples, including their financial habits.
  • Explain the difference between needs and wants. Budgeting basics come down to needs and wants. By getting your children to differentiate between the two, you will help them to understand how to manage money wisely.
  • Involve your children in the banking process. Taking your children to the bank with you is a great way to prepare them for adulthood. Consider opening a savings account for your child. For information on OVB’s savings account, visit https://www.ovbc.com/your-first-savings
  • Let friends and family know about your child’s savings goal. By explaining to your family that your child has a savings goal, they will be more likely to support your child by giving them cash for special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays. Take your child to the bank with you when it comes time to deposit these funds.

To schedule a virtual Teach Children to Save presentation or other financial lesson, contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

Financial Fun Friday: Budgeting for EGGspenses

Children having fun in park. Easter egg hunt concept

In this edition of Financial Fun Friday, we are putting a twist on the classic Easter egg hunt. Financial Fun Friday is where we introduce an educational activity that both children and their families can enjoy.

With Easter quickly approaching, this activity is a festive treat as well as an opportunity to work a little financial literacy into your holiday plans. Most everyone is familiar with the traditional Easter egg hunt. In this activity, children will get to hunt for eggs and learn how to budget.

To get started, you will need the following items:

  • Fillable plastic Easter Eggs
  • Various Easter candy
  • Note Cards and/or paper
  • Paper cut into strips, which can be folded and inserted into fillable eggs
  • Markers, pen, or pencil
  • Empty Easter basket

Here is how this financial savvy egg hunt works:

  • First you will need to use note cards or cut pieces of paper to write various expenses/bills on. Examples include:
  1. Groceries – $150
  2. Gas – $40
  3. Video games – $50
  4. Rent – $500
  5. Various Easter candies – $4 a piece
  6. Pack of Jellybeans – $5
  7. Streaming movie – $15
  8. Pizza Delivery – $20
  9. Internet – $150
  10. Cell Phone Service – $50
  • Next, cut strips of paper and place different money amounts on them. Or if you are feeling really creative, create your own play money. Insert individual strips with money amounts into the plastic eggs.
  • From there, it’s time to hide the eggs! Depending on the space available to you, eggs can be hidden either indoors, outside or both. This is pretty basic and the same format you would follow for a traditional Easter egg hunt.
  • After eggs are hidden, give a basket to each child participating and send them off to hunt.
  • While kids are hunting for eggs, lay the cards you created out on a surface, such as a dining room table or kitchen counter.
  • Once kids have returned with their eggs in tow, have them open each egg and count their “money”.
  • Next, instruct the children to look at each card on the table. Explain to them that certain cards are needs, such as groceries, while other items like games or candy, are considered wants.
  • Ask them what they would spend their money on first. Consider asking the following questions:
  1. Why did you choose this?
  2. Is this something you need?
  3. What would you do if you spent all your money on candy or games?
  4. Where would you be able to live if you spent all your money on wants only?
  • Whether the children chose wisely or not, ask them to elaborate on their spending choices. From there, reiterate why it’s always a good idea to prioritize needs over wants.
  • Finally, explain that it is ok to spend a little on wants after your needs are taken care of. Then, enjoy some Easter treats together!

If you have extra time and would like to expand on this activity, ask your kids to write down what they believe the household monthly expenses are. This is another way to reinforce the importance of budgeting. For additional budgeting activities and financial lessons, check out OVB’s Virtual Classroom.

For bank related news, like and follow OVB on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Financial Fun Friday: plan a dinner

2021 Financial Fun 1

Make listing ingredient costs fun by allowing the kids to turn it into an art project by creating colorful signs and pictures.

Welcome to the first edition of Financial Fun Friday, where we introduce an educational activity for the family with hopes of reinforcing money management skills.

Today’s activity is one the entire family can participate in; however, it is an especially helpful tool to get younger children to understand expenses. The “what’s for dinner” conversation is something that many families endure. Unfortunately, this can also lead to arguments. With this financial activity, you let the kids do the meal planning.

Here is a step by step guide of how your family can learn from this Financial Fun Friday game:

  • Step 1. Create a spending cap for the dinner. Let your kids know how much they are allowed to spend on their dinner of choice. Stress that this amount must cover all items from ingredients to sides and beverages.
  • Step 2. Pick out a recipe. Gather your cookbooks or help the kids search the internet to find their recipe of choice.
  • Step 3. Go over ingredients. Once the meal has been chosen, go through all the ingredients needed and the price for each item. To make this a bit more enjoyable, instruct the kids to draw pictures or make creative labels for each ingredient. Then, have them write the price on each label. Even if you already have some of the ingredients at home, you still need to include that within the dinner planning budget as this will help illustrate the cost of meals.
  • Step 4. Check your budget. After the ingredients and recipe are set, instruct your kids to add up the cost of all items to make sure they didn’t go over budget. If they did, look through their meal plan to see what cuts could be made. If they have money to spare, give them the option to add a dessert or better yet, encourage them to save. To take this activity to the next level, consider matching the leftover funds and open a savings account for your child. For information on OVB’s Statement Savings Account click here.
  • Step 5. Get cooking! Once things are in place and costs have been determined, it’s time to cook. Involving your children in the actual making of the meal will help them learn additional math skills, such as fractions as they measure ingredients. Bonus? They will also appreciate the work you put in to making their meals!

Once your kids have both planned and made their family dinner, they will likely walk away with a better understanding of the expense it takes to provide food for a family. They will understand why it might not be easy to have “whatever they want” each night as they learn the importance of sticking with a spending limit. You can also expand this Financial Fun Friday lesson by involving your kids in the grocery shopping process. Go over costs of all the food it takes to feed your family for a week. By involving your children in the process, they will better understand the importance of budgeting. Hopefully, they will be more prepared to make good financial decisions as an adult as well.

For more interactive financial lessons, visit the OVB Virtual Classroom. For bank related news, like and follow OVB on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Bonus: Can’t get the family to agree on a meal? Here’s a homemade pizza dough recipe submitted by one of our OVB community bankers: 

Financial Fun 4

 

Give the gift of saving

Piggy BankLooking for another gift idea? Or have you already received some Christmas cash and need a place for it? Look no further than a savings account.

Savings accounts are not flashy or fancy, but they can be a huge help to your financial well-being. Research has shown that the earlier you start saving, the better equipped for the future you may be. This is why starting a savings account for your child is a great tool to instill financial-savvy skills at a young age. What’s a better gift than investing in your child’s future?

In fact, savings accounts tend to be the first exposure to banking that many people have due to the account’s availability for children. In addition, having a savings account as a child also creates a relationship with their community bank at a young age. Establishing a banking relationship early is another step in encouraging financial responsibility. At Ohio Valley Bank, children ages 18 and under do not have a minimum balance requirement with the bank’s statement savings account. For more information on what to bring when you open a savings account for your child at OVB, check out our resource page.

Another perk of savings accounts is the minimal risk to customers. Savings accounts do not lose money, whereas other account types can pose this risk. If you aren’t making withdrawals, your balance will not go down.

Additional benefits of opening a savings account include the following: Read more of this post

Don’t be haunted by your finances

Halloween Jack o Lanterns at night. Banner with copy space against a dark wood background.

Happy Halloween! As you enjoy feasting on treats and watching spooky, classic horror movies, don’t forget another subject that can often be terrifying – your finances.

As we wrap up our month-long celebration of the American Bankers Association’s (ABA) Get Smart About Credit campaign, it’s a good time to stress the importance of budgeting. Both making and sticking to a budget is often said to be the first step to financial freedom. By knowing how much you spend and what your monthly take-home pay is, you will be less likely to find yourself in the haunting pitfalls of debt.

A great tool to help you budget is OVB’s Benjamin Tracker. We all need a little help staying on track sometimes, and this free program can work wonders to curb spending. Do you have the ghost of gourmet coffee purchases hanging over your account balance? Benjamin Tracker can help you bust that habit by helping you stick with your spending goals.

OVB’s additional online services, such as NetTeller, are available to help you both monitor your accounts and avoid spooky situations. Here are additional tips to keep your personal finances happy rather than that of a horror movie: Read more of this post

Teach children to save for financial emergencies

Students group

As we continue to enjoy the spooky season and autumn activities October brings, don’t forget that the Get Smart About Credit campaign is also celebrated this month. 

Ohio Valley Bank has participated in the American Bankers Association’s (ABA) Get Smart About Credit event for several years. This year, to promote the importance of credit to youth, a new series of interactive lessons premiered on the OVB Virtual Classroom. While those lessons are vital to educating youth about credit, the campaign message has evolved to include response to current events, including the global pandemic. Stressing the value of financial responsibility is always part of the campaign’s curriculum, and this year has demonstrated the need to prepare youth in handling financial emergencies, such as economic downturn.

In a March 2020 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, half of young adults ages 18-23 reported that they or someone in their household lost a job or took a pay cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is more than any other age group. 

On Get Smart About Credit Day, which took place last Thursday, Oct. 15, the ABA hosted a webinar to tackle the topic of preparing youth, especially teens, to recognize how incidents like a recession can directly impact their financial future. OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush attended the virtual event and described it as another reminder that today’s high schoolers will soon be leaders in the community.

“We always discuss how it’s never too early to start saving, which is absolutely true. We work with children to help them understand banking basics and why they need to be financially responsible. While it might be difficult to talk about the pandemic’s effect on finances with kids, it is important to do so. High School students in particular are at an age where the economic impacts of this situation could shape their future,” Roush said. “Encouraging older students to begin thinking about what an emergency fund is and why they should start working toward one now can help prepare them for tackling similar circumstances, such as a recession, in their adulthood. Having open, honest discussions with your children as a family can also help as many people often emulate their parents’ financial habits. It might sound cliché, but these students really are the future and working with them now will help them not only be successful adults but can positively impact our communities as well.” Read more of this post

OVB to celebrate Get Smart About Credit all month

Get Smart About Credit: Proud Participant

Halloween is right around the corner, but you should never let your finances scare you – leave that to the ghosts and goblins! While October is the spooky season, it also marks the annual celebration of the American Bankers Association’s Get Smart About Credit campaign.

Ohio Valley Bank is once again taking part in this year’s festivities, which aim to promote the importance of credit education for youth. Now in its 18th year, Get Smart About Credit is a national campaign comprised of bank volunteers who help youth understand credit and other important financial lessons. Get Smart About Credit teaches students that credit education is more than paying for college, credit cards and loans. The campaign aims to show that a true understanding of credit also encompasses budgeting, credit report comprehension and identity protection.

According to OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush, this year’s Get Smart About Credit presentations will be widely accessible through the bank’s Virtual Classroom.

“While it’s unfortunate that we can’t be physically present in classrooms this year to promote Get Smart About Credit, we are able to make the lessons accessible to a wider audience through the OVB Virtual Classroom. The interactive lessons will showcase what credit is as well as address the cost of credit. As with our in-classroom presentations, these virtual lessons will explain the importance of credit in a way that children and teens can understand,” Roush said. “The Get Smart About Credit campaign is a great event because it’s never too early to start practicing good financial and money management skills. We hope that learning these skills at a young age will prepare our area youth to be successful members of the workforce and our local communities.”

OVB’s Get Smart About Credit video lesson series will premiere Oct. 15, which is also Get Smart About Credit Day. Additional Get Smart About Credit lessons are also incorporated into OVB’s BANKit Program, which is being conducted virtually at area high schools this academic year. Read more of this post

OVB Virtual Classroom brings financial activities to digital environment

2020 Virtual Classroom Pic 1In an effort to bring financial activities to a wider audience, Ohio Valley Bank recently launched their Virtual Classroom. The new space, located on the bank’s website, features games and handouts to download as well as interactive video lessons on a variety of financial topics.

OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush described the Virtual Classroom as a way to meet the needs of area youth and provide another resource for teachers.

“In spring when everyone’s lives turned upside down due to the pandemic, we had to find a new way to bring financial literacy lessons to local youth. As schools were closed and distance learning was put in place, we knew we had to adapt our way of presenting this valuable information. Since we couldn’t bring our financial programs to the schools in-person, the OVB Virtual Classroom was born,” Roush said. “The Virtual Classroom has already grown to include lessons that cover many important financial topics and we plan to continue adding content.” Read more of this post

OVB brings Boot Camp to Virtual 4-H Experience

2020 OVB Boot Camp 1

Summer brings fun in the sun, days at the pool, and picnics. Perhaps one of the biggest summer traditions for area youth is attending local 4-H camps.

However, most camps were canceled this year due to the global pandemic. To hold on to the 4-H camp tradition as well as keep youth active this summer, WVU Extension encouraged all leaders to host a virtual environment for campers. According to Lorrie Wright, Mason County’s WVU Extension Agent, the goal of the virtual camp was to stay connected through 4-H even in this uncertain time. Through the help of extension and volunteers, Mason County worked diligently for weeks to organize their virtual camp.

“WVU encouraged agents to include this type of programming for youth in our counties to keep a connection during the pandemic,” Wright said. “I was pleased by the number of kids who participated and earned a commemorative headband and t-shirt. The positive feedback from the participants and parents was encouraging. I loved checking the (4-H Virtual Camp) Facebook page each day and seeing the photos of completed activities that campers posted.”

OVB Boot Camp, which is taught annually at Mason County 4-H camp, was once again offered as a class. The class is always free and teaches campers banking basics, including account types, the importance of saving; budgeting, credit reports and credit scores; and debit vs. credit. Lesson videos on each topic were created and put together with corresponding activities for campers to suit the new virtual format. Hope Roush, OVB Financial Literacy Leader, said the lesson videos were designed to mimic the in-person camp experience. Read more of this post

Contactless banking with OVB e-Services

E-Services 3

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the nation, we are finding ourselves more reliant on technology than ever before. From distance learning in schools to remote work environments, technology is making it possible to navigate our “new normal.” Many have also moved to safe and easy contactless banking through OVB NetTeller, OVB Line Telephone Banking, OVB Text Message Banking, and the OVB Mobile App.

“Our e-Services line of products offer numerous benefits,” Andrew Bush, OVB online banking manager, said. “First and foremost, among them is time and convenience. When you can pay your bills with our Online Bill Pay service, send money to a friend, see your balances, transactions and more all without needing to make a trip to your local branch, it frees you to do the things that matter most to you.” Read more of this post