As parents, we are always worried that we are doing enough. Are we helping our children at every stage to develop the skills they need to handle the “real world” financially? We’ve talked a lot about youth savings and how to start your younger ones on a healthy financial path. Where do we go from there? Let’s talk about the pre-teens, teenagers, the young adults, and what we can do to help them continue to flourish financially now and into the future.
You’ve taught your child about savings and they’re utilizing a savings account, but now they have expenses like gas, food or other recreational activities. Your child has graduated from earning an allowance to getting their first job, now where does the money go? It’s time to open your child’s first checking account.
The Basics of Managing a Checking Account
Before opening your child’s checking account and setting them loose with a debit card, education is key. You can’t expect them to know how to manage this new account, it’s a whole new ball game. Make sure they know what to expect and explain how to use their new account responsibly, just as you did with their first savings account.
You may have your own personal strategy for utilizing your checking account. Perhaps you have a check register and keep track of every transaction and match it up to your monthly statement. The majority of consumers now rely on online banking to track transactions and balance their accounts. Regardless of what method you choose, your child will need to understand the fundamentals of a checking account and keeping track of transactions to avoid overdrawing.
Here’s what you should be sure to cover with your child:
- Is there minimum balance required? If so, what is the amount?
- When are statements received, and how do you use them to track spending and account accuracy?
- How do you use ATMs, which ATMs can be used surcharge-free, and how do you find them?
- What’s a Personal Identification Number, or PIN, and how do you remember it while keeping it secure?
Find the Right Checking Account Fit
It’s time to go shopping for a checking account, keeping in mind that if your child is under 18, you will likely need to be a joint owner on the account. That gives you the opportunity to help monitor transactions, but you also share responsibility for fees and other charges.
The step from savings to checking is a big one. Your child will likely use this account and the credit union or bank it’s with for a very long time if not a lifetime. A checking account is for transactions, but your child’s financial institution should be about relationships. It should be somewhere they can ask questions and get help customized to their financial goals. It should be somewhere like GOLD, where our Members are our owners—the only stakeholders we report to.
GOLD’s Checking Account provides unbeatable service. We designed it to be simple and work for you. Checking accounts can be opened by kids 12 and older with an adult joint owner. Ready to open your child’s checking? Give us a call to get started: 484-223-4200.