Great content does the work for you. It is like a loan that you can sit on and collect interest. You put it out there, and with some time, you see an ROI through engagement. Great banking content will foster relationships and tell a story. A story that brings banking principles to life and cut through the clutter and confusion.
Whether it was your first lemonade stand or a fifth-grade teacher who taught you to write out a check, we all have a story. That “ah-hah” moment in life, where the principles of banking clicked.
Here is mine:
I was packing up for college when I came across an important order of business. A small box I found in my room.
I carried the small box, filled with folded-up papers, over to my dad and set them before him.
“My I-Owe-You checks that I have collected and saved from you over the past nine years, with interest rates ranging between five cents a day to twenty-five cents a week,” I said.
Today was payday.
I am the youngest of five girls and, for one reason or another, I tended to be the only one who readily had cash on hand. When one of my sisters would be heading back to school, and my dad wanted to send them with some cash, he knew where to go – The Bank of Sarah.
He quickly assured me that he would pay me back and sat down to put his promise into writing.
“Would you rather have your twenty dollars back tomorrow, or twenty-five dollars back in two weeks?” he asked.
My eight-year-old self was very confused.
He explained that the principal amount he was borrowing was 20 dollars and that I could collect a small amount more each day, called interest, until he paid that principal back to me.
Interest suddenly made me far more interested in making this deal.
We both signed and dated the written agreement and I tucked it away for safekeeping. From that moment on, I was more than happy to lend my Dad any available cash I had on hand…for just the simple signature on an agreed upon IOU. One by one, each contract was folded and placed into my box.
Years later, in that moment of placing my collected IOU’s in front of my Dad, I couldn’t tell if he was proud of the fact that his lessons had stuck and I had kept those agreements after all those years or terrified of the fact that time had quadrupled the total amount he initially owed me.
I think it was a little bit of both.
This was the greatest life lesson that I had in finance. A few years later when it came time to purchase my very own car, I felt confident and comfortable approaching a loan agreement. What is often an overwhelming task seemed like a natural next step because I understood the fundamentals of what I was getting into.
It’s never too early to learn the basic lessons of finance. But it’s also never too late to learn the basics and put those lessons into practice. Financial processes such as loans and lending don’t have to be daunting endeavors. However, most millennials don’t get the opportunity to learn these lessons at an early age so a daunting gap is formed between dependency and responsibility.
How you can help
Become a safe bridge over that knowledge gap, (and you will become any millennial’s best friend). I think it is safe to say that an average millennial will not walk into a bank and ask how interest on a loan works. We google it. It’s a judgment-free, safe way to learn about the inner workings of what seems like a complex topic.
Be up front and lay everything out clearly. Take time to build that trust with them and you will become a comfortable source for information and questions.
Start the conversation early. Target millennials on your social media pages because that is where we are listening. If you are helpful there, then there is no doubt you will be even more helpful in person. Tell your audience why they should think about saving, loans, and retirement long before they are asking for it. Because when the time comes, we know you’ll be there!
It just takes a little bit of explanations, a bit of simple communication and some patience…just like an IOU!