Thrift: Matt Davis, the CU Warrior

Symposium 2008Matt Davis, the CU Warrior, was this year’s vote-in video submission winner, and his talk is on Thrift in today’s world, at the Partnership Symposium

[Brent Dixon recorded this session on video here.]

Edward Filene, Desjardin, Raiffessen: If you read their writings, thrift is much more than simply savings.

Son was born: Want to save for his college.

Went to a college site: if they save $250/month, which is a lot (a car payment!), will only be able to afford 2.5 years of college. Doing the right thing, BUT FAILING. Imagine how bad off all the people are who are doing the wrong thing by not saving at all.

People TRYING to save are failing. They need to start experience savings VICTORIES.

Saving for retirement is even more difficult than saving for college!

Let’s start encouraging members to save for small goals. Create successes, then go to bigger goals. Need members to stop feeling like saving is hopeless.

Set up blog: What are you saving for?

First entries: Medical Scooter, Daughter’s Wedding, An Emergency Fund.

Oh good, this is going to work! Building a conversation around saving.

Setting up a support group; training staff about this. Congratulating members when goals achieved. Story can be shared online. Every 6 months, a biggest saver is selected. Featured in Yahoo! Finance and Fast Company magazine (for a $285 web site).

Thrift is cool now. (B of A Keep the change, created $1 billion in deposits by rounding up).

The I Series Savings Bond from US Government is a better deal than a savings account, where you end up with less in buying power than when you started.

Progressive Auto Model: Show competitors.

If we are in the business of promoting thrift, can we tell members about deals better than us?

Let members have access to better information about their savings account like PFMs, or Matt Dean’s presentation earlier today.

Credit union created a zero percent auto loan, which is misleading because actual rate is 4.74%. Other CUs using teaser rates to encourage spending.

Courtesy Pay: not promoting thrift.

• Insurance: well within the CU mission.
• Make thrift interesting. (Rate is boring).
• What’s best for member is sometimes not what’s best for CU.
• Give members better ways to improve their spending/saving behaviour
• Don’t teach bad habits.

Q&A:
Q: Saving for motorcycle or plasma TV is not thrift, right?
A: It’s not the CU’s place to tell them what to save for or not. The community can lend it’s own voice if it wants.

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2 Responses to “Thrift: Matt Davis, the CU Warrior”

  1. Manda Says:

    I had the pleasure of seeing this presentation at the Symposium and think that it is a fabulous idea! Not only are they teaching people how to save but helping them learn about delayed gratification. The individuals can feel great from the goal reaching experience and be able to purchase that item for cash instead of credit or they may even realize that they don’t really need that item and enjoy the ease of saving. Some of us make impulse buys and don’t think about the consequences. And it works because the CU Warrior has made it a compelling program that these individuals can get excited about.

  2. Credit Union Warrior Says:

    Thanks, Morriss for covering the presentation and not mentioning that I was a nervous wreck! I think it’s the perfect time for CU’s to refocus their energy on thrift. My goal was to challenge conventional thinking – hopefully I succeeded, at least, in that.

    @Manda Thank you so much for your kind comments! I would love to see similar initiatives launched at CU’s across the country. Hopefully you can be an additional force behind this idea.

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