Introducing Your Teen to Banking

Kids & Money
Introducing Your Teen to Banking

It is never too soon to start teaching your children smart financial habits. Check out these beginner financial tips to help educate your teen.

Teaching Good Habits

Teaching your children healthy financial habits can help them establish financial peace of mind early in life. One of the best ways to do this is teaching the importance of saving. Start with opening a savings account for your teen and then have them set a savings goal. Whether it’s a new bike or a car, encourage them to save a percentage of their money.

Tip: Designate a night each month to have dinner and discuss their savings goal with them. Let them know how exciting it can be to put money towards something they're passionate about!

A checking account can be a useful tool to teach teens to practice spending money wisely.

Open a checking account for your teen and fund it with a consistent allowance and/or direct deposit from their job (if applicable). Plan a weekly budget together so they can keep track of how their money is spent. For example, if they want to get popcorn and see a movie after school on Wednesday, and get ice cream on Friday, they will know how much money they can spend for each activity.

One of the essential habits a teen with a new checking account will need to develop is monitoring their balance and tracking their expenses to avoid overdrafts, a negative balance, or insufficient funds for a purchase.

Things to Consider When Selecting an Account

A teenager's first bank account can help build money management skills. While you can choose a regular checking or savings account, consider an account designed specifically for teenagers and even younger children.

Check with your bank or credit union on any requirements they might have before opening an account. Some banks and credit unions require a parent as a co-signer while others limit eligibility to teenagers over a certain age, such as 16. Be cautious of accounts with ongoing balance requirements and monthly fees.

Other features to look for include:

  • Spending Limits. The bank may assign a spending limit each day for a teenager's checking account, or you may be able to set limits as the parent.
  • Parental Restrictions. Some accounts allow you to specify whether your teenager can make deposits, withdrawals, or transfer money.
  • Mobile Banking. These features are popular with teens who are familiar with using technology. A good bank account app sends push notifications about their balance and transactions.
  • Education. Choose a bank or credit union that offers educational resources for young adults.
  • Fees. Look for a checking or savings account without a monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance, like an Ameris Bank Free Checking Account. Opt-out of overdraft protection so your teenager's card will be declined if they do not have enough money.

Takeaway

Checking and savings accounts are great tools to teach teenagers the financial habits they will use throughout their life. It is never too soon to teach your teen the importance of healthy financial habits. Be sure to looks for accounts that cater to the needs of young adults that include mobile banking and minimal fees, like our Free Checking.

Accounts can be opened online or in-person by visiting any Ameris Bank location.

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