Studying the banking industry can benefit many types of students. Those who may wind up in the financial services sector may learn about a specific niche that sparks their interest. Others may learn budgeting basics or decipher lending practices that can help them make and save more money throughout their lives.
Open a School Bank
HSBC recommends creating a school bank to help students best understand the working pieces of a financial services company. Working with a local bank, students can learn and perform the various duties and job functions of tellers, managers, auditors and marketers. In this capacity, students can help other students open basic accounts, answer questions and create advertising campaigns to promote the school branch. With the oversight of bank employees, this is a great way to learn real-world financial skills.
Apply for a Car Loan
Many financial institutions market auto loans and other types of financing to college students and recent high school graduates. Students can apply for a fake auto loan in order to learn the process and what questions to ask in order to make the best decision. One student can act as the loan officer and another as the applicant. The idea of debt-to-income ratio — the amount of money a person makes versus their monthly expenses — is fundamental to students' understanding how much debt is reasonable. Also, students should review an amortization table to understand how much of a monthly payment goes to interest and how much goes to principal.
Manage a Budget
Creating and managing a budget is a life skill that can literally pay dividends, making it a decidedly relevant banking project for high school students. Without managing and understanding your personal budget, it's impossible to fully take advantage of many of the lending and investing services offered by banks. According to the University of Northern Iowa, the first step in managing a budget successfully is creating goals. Perhaps a student wants to save $2,000 during the summer for college. Knowing this, along with her income level, allows her to decide how much to save and how much to set aside for expenses such as gas, food and entertainment. Next, students must track every dollar they earn to ensure that they are sticking to their budget and make adjustments accordingly.
How Banks Make Money
Understanding how banks make money is a good way for students to get the larger concept of the role banks play in the economy. For example, students could calculate the "spread" between savings accounts and loans. In simple terms, when a bank loans money at 5 percent and pays 2 percent interest on savings accounts, the difference between the two amounts is the profit earned by a bank.
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