You may have opened a savings account for your children when they were younger to start saving money for college, or to simply teach them how and why saving is important. But now that they are close to or entering high school, they are going to need to learn some additional money basics, specifically how to manage a checking account.
Starting a checking account early for teens helps them avoid pitfalls later. It will help them better learn concepts related to money, and ultimately gives them valuable practice in a safe environment. That is why we have put together three straight forward tips for parents and their teens about checking accounts.
Set it up together
Setting up a checking account for your teen at USAgencies is very simple. It can be done online if that is more convenient, or you can bring them into the branch and have them sit down with our Member Relationship Specialists. Bring them in to make their first deposit, and together we can give them the skills for making future deposits and go over the importance of putting some away in savings as well. Also remember that your child has most likely seen you swipe your debit card for years, but do they truly understand how it works? Together, we can explain to them how a debit card connecting to a checking spends the same as taking cash out of your wallet and handing it to a cashier.
Don’t forget to get them set up for Online and Mobile Banking so they can easily keep track of their spending and understand being aware of the status of their funds is very important. Show them how easy and quick it is to open their app on their smart phone and check their balance.
We can also create special limits on their debit card for their protection. We can customize the amount that can be charged on a debit card per day, so if starting them out with a limit of $30 or $60 a day is something you would like to explore, we can help you with that. Text alerts are also available for members to get on their smart phones as well. Alerts such a when a balance is low is a request that would help them keep their balance on top of mind if they are not in the habit of checking their balance frequently yet.
Money Management is also a great tool to help them ( and you ) to get to know their accounts, track their budget and watch their spending. This free tool will give them a valuable insight and report about their finances, to ensure they are in control and on top of their financial life.
Make it a learning process
Consider setting up a system with your child in which they get their allowance once every two weeks. From that amount, they need to ensure they can cover their gas, dining out with friends, miscellaneous purchases and their entertainment. Warn them that if they overspend on some categories, and they end up not having gas money, make them do extra chores to earn more money, or take it from their savings account and talk about the dangers of making that a habit.
Rest assured, we have the resources to help you and your child get ready to be financial responsible on their own. The Freestyle checking is a straight forward and easy way to get them to take their first steps in the financial world, and we are excited to be there every step of the way!
Ready to get your child’s’ membership or Lifestyle Checking open? Apply online or connect with a Member Relationship Specialist at 503-275-0300. We look forward to providing your teen financial solutions to get them started on their financial journey!