Research shows the road to financial well-being starts at a young age. It’s when children begin developing skills around money they’ll need as adults. Your child’s teenage years are a great time to help them build strong money management skills.
And for most teenagers, financial lessons come from their parents. There’s plenty you can do to teach your teen about money. Helping them open their own checking account is a great place to start.
While some people may feel mobile banking and debit cards are just for adults, they're actually great tools to help teens learn to manage their money. Especially since it's the way they'll have to handle their finances once they're on their own. Your teen can have access to this exciting new world through their Better Banks checking account. They can begin using our Digital Banking, download our Mobile App, and receive monthly eStatements.
As a parent, it may seem like a lot of freedom and responsibility for someone so young; but think of this as their financial training ground. They'll be learning how to spend responsibly while still under your roof. And remember: as their parent or guardian, you can monitor their bank account and set limits while allowing them some freedom to make decisions on their own.
If you think they’re ready, opening a checking account is a great way to explore the ins and outs of earning, saving, spending, and planning for the future. Here are some topics to consider and discuss with your teen:
Since minors can’t open bank accounts by themselves, you’ll need to be a signer on the account, which may be a good thing. Maybe you’re most interested in tracking their spending. You’ll be able to monitor their account and help them on this new financial journey together.
For instance, Digital Banking allows you to receive alerts every time your child makes a transaction. But should you? When monitoring your kid’s checking account, privacy parameters will be up to you. Navigating these options together will keep the lines of communication open.
With banking apps, everything from money transfers to mobile deposits can be done in minutes. However, impulse purchases with the swipe of a debit card are just as quick. This can be an opportunity to discuss the difference between “wants” and “needs.” For most people, finding a balance takes time, and managing a bank account is one way to practice.
Your teen’s checking account can earn a little interest or open our Student Rewards account and get rewarded monthly for everyday banking. Either way, if they have a job, they’ll be able to grow their money. It can be eye-opening to see how your dollars grow.
As with most major endeavors, mastering personal finance takes trial and error. As your child learns to monitor their cash flow, you can help them create a budget. How much will they spend? How much will they save? What kinds of experiences or big purchases will they plan for?
Teens, just like adults, are more likely to enjoy money management if the process is fun—and there are tangible payoffs (like an outing with friends or the latest video game).
At the same time, learning to save and watch your balance grow can feel pretty good, too. Putting goals in order of importance, and even scratching others off the list, can build confidence around managing money all starts with basic banking skills, from saving for a first car to paying off student loans to buying a starter home. And practice, as they say, makes perfect.
At Better Banks, we’re here to help – with ideas about activities you can do together, tools to help them start building a banking and credit history, and tips on helping direct them to make sound financial decisions.
As your teen's knowledge grows, so will their confidence. By taking steps to help them learn now, you're giving them a good basis for building their money management skills on their road to financial independence.