Youth Education – May 2023 – Downeast Credit Union

Youth Education – May 2023

Posted on May 23, 2023 | Youth Education

Welcome to the May 2023 edition of our Youth Education Blog! We will be posting financial education content for those ages 13-17, 18-21, and for parents & grandparents, too.

Don’t forget to check out our quarterly contest for a chance to win $100!


Parents & Grandparents: Help Them Get a Head Start

If you are a parent or grandparent looking to help your kids or grandkids get a head start, you may want to consider a Youth Sow N’ Grow Share Certificate!

A share certificate is documented proof of shareholding in a company. This product is a great, low-risk method of increasing your savings over time. Our Youth Sow N’ Grows are one-year products, which means you cannot touch the money for the duration of that year. You’ll earn a fixed percentage yield over this time, and these accumulated savings will be returned to you!

We only require an opening deposit of $2.00, and a $2.00 weekly contribution. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to contribute to the account when it’s convenient for you.

If you’re interested in opening an account or becoming a Member-Owner, give us a call at (207) 454-9008 or click the link below!



Ages 18-21: Build Credit Early

We know that getting a credit card can seem overwhelming at first. There are so many to choose from, and they all have pros and cons. Here at DECU, our Lending Experts are knowledgeable and willing to help you find the best options for your lifestyle. They can even offer expert advice for improving your credit score!

Before you open a line of credit, it’s important to become familiar with common terminology:

Annual Fee – The once-a-year cost of owning a credit card. Some credit card providers offer cards with no annual fees.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – The yearly interest rate charged on outstanding credit card balances.

Balance – An amount of money. In personal banking, balance refers to the amount of money in a savings or checking account. In credit, balance refers to the amount of money owed.

Credit Bureau – A reporting agency that collects information on consumer credit usage. There are currently three main credit bureaus in the United States: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Learn more about credit bureaus at

Credit Line – The maximum dollar amount that can be charged on a specific credit card account.

Credit Score – A financial institution’s evaluation of an individual’s ability to manage debt. It’s crucial to have a good credit rating if you want to borrow money or apply for a credit card or loan. Learn how to maintain a strong credit score.

Interest -The price you pay to borrow money or the cost you charge to lend money. This is most often reflected as an annual percentage of the amount of a loan.

If you’d like to set up a FREE Credit Check-Up Session (virtual or in-person) with a DECU Lending Expert, call (207) 454-9006.

To open an account and become a Member-Owner, visit the link below!



Ages 13-17: Your Future is Bright

As you begin to think about your future plans and the possibility of attending college, it’s important to also consider your budget and how you are going to pay for your education and living expenses while in school. Here are a few items that you should budget for:

Books – Textbooks can be an expensive addition to your budget. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to spend less on textbooks. Buying a gently used textbook rather than a brand-new one — or buying an e-book instead of a printed textbook — can save big bucks. Many retailers online or on-campus offer the option to rent books for a reduced price. You can also make some of your money back by reselling your textbooks at the end of the year to certain retailers or fellow students.

Food – Budgeting for food will depend largely on whether your housing offers meal plans. If so, you can choose what’s right for you without overspending. If you aren’t relying on a meal plan, explore the stores around you for the best deals on groceries — some stores will sell the same product at a higher markup than others. You may also be able to find coupons and deals either in-store or online.

Entertainment –  At college there are plenty of opportunities to have fun without spending loads of money. Keep up-to-date on upcoming school events, many of which may be cheap or free. Cooking meals with friends can be a great form of socializing while saving, but if you decide to treat yourself and want to go out to eat or see a show, remember to take advantage of any discounts that may be available for college students.

Transportation – It’s important to consider whether you will be bringing a personal vehicle to campus, or if you will rely on public transportation. If you attend school in a larger city, public transportation will likely be easily accessible. However, if you plan to attend a school in a more rural area, having your own vehicle may be a necessity. Either way, you will have some transportation expenses, whether they are bus/train tickets or gasoline!

Work – Lots of students have part-time jobs while in school, sometimes even jobs on their college campus. If you’re eligible, Federal Work-Study provides jobs for students with financial needs, giving them the opportunity to earn money to pay for their education while they’re still in school. Keep in mind that while part-time work is a great way to support yourself, the education you’re paying for should come first.

Investing – It may sound impossible to start investing while still in school, but starting early with investing will make a huge difference. Allowing the interest to compound over time will work to your advantage and help you build your savings!

Though this list can seem daunting, keeping track of your budget and monthly expenses can be a big help. Be on the lookout for student discounts, and don’t be afraid to ask businesses if they have one. Even a 5 or 10 percent discount can add up over time!

If you’re interested in opening an account and becoming a Member-Owner, visit the link below!