Teaching Good Habits

Kids & Money
Teaching Good Habits

Teaching your children healthy financial habits can help them establish financial peace of mind early in life. This can instill a sense of responsibility and discipline and help them learn valuable lessons about managing money, setting goals, and making informed financial decisions.

One of the best ways to do this is by teaching your child or teen the importance of saving. You can start by opening a savings or checking account (or both) for them and then having them set realistic financial goals. Whether it's a new bike or a car, encourage them to save a percentage of their money. This hands-on approach helps your child or teen develop valuable financial skills and fosters open communication regarding money matters.

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!


Open a Minor Savings Account for your child or teen and fund it with a consistent allowance and/or direct deposit from their job (if applicable). Ameris Bank's Minor Savings Accounts are available for customers 18 years of age and younger, as long as a parent or a guardian serves as a joint account holder. There is no minimum deposit to open an account and no quarterly service fee. In addition, our Minor Savings Accounts have access to online, mobile, and telephone banking, along with e-statements and alerts.

Once your child's or teen's savings account is set up, talk to them about the benefits of money management. 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.

By establishing milestones along their savings journey, your child or teen can experience a sense of accomplishment when they reach each goal. This positive reinforcement encourages them to continue setting new targets and working diligently towards attaining them.


A checking account is an ideal complement to your child's or teen's savings account, as it, too, can be an invaluable tool in teaching real-world financial skills. As you know, a checking account is typically used for everyday spending, whereas a savings account is used for saving and growing money over the long term.

When your child or teen has a checking account, they won't have to worry about carrying cash. Instead, they can swipe or tap a debit card at any point-of-sale terminal, and they're good to go. Whether grabbing their morning breakfast or paying for lunch or school supplies, having instant access to funds through a checking account makes these transactions seamless and stress-free for your child or teen.

One of the essential habits a child or 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. Explaining the basics of checking accounts to your child or teen can help them keep their account in good standing. Moreover, it can help them develop essential financing skills and lay the groundwork for financial independence and success later in life.


A child's or teenager's first bank account can help build money management skills. While you can choose a regular checking or savings account, consider one 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 service 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.


Checking and savings accounts are great tools to teach teenagers the financial habits they will use throughout their lives. It is never too soon to teach your teen the importance of healthy financial habits. Be sure to look 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.

Published February 2024

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

*Other fees such as Overdraft Fees may apply. See the Miscellaneous Services Pricing Guide for details.

Information presented in the Financial Advice website is provided for educational purposes only and is not related to Ameris Bank's actual products or services. Ameris Bank makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness or specific suitability of any information presented. Information provided should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal or tax advice. Ameris Bank recommends you consult a professional for any specific guidance you are seeking.