writing a check

Helping Your Child Set up a Checking Account

Children learn many valuable things in school, from how to be a good team player to how to solve a logarithm, but one thing that you need to teach them yourself is how to handle finances. It’s never too early to start teaching your children about earning, saving, and investing money, and once you think they’re ready, a good next step is to set them up with a free checking account. You will probably want to set your children up with one before they start their first job because it will teach them how to responsibly handle money earned from chores or good grades. The fiscal sensibility they learn will pay off in the future when they have a lot more income to worry about. 

What to consider before opening your child’s account.

With so many different checking account types out there, it can be difficult for you to determine what kind of account is best for your child. Well, the first step is to consider your child’s age, the amount of money he would have in the account, and what kind of perks you both are looking for. For a younger child, it may be a smart idea to actually set him up with only a savings account at first. Young children don’t really have expenses, and savings accounts earn more interest than even checking accounts with interest, so your son or daughter will get more bang for their buck. Most banks will allow your child to have a debit card with a savings account, so he can still access his money for special occasions, like a fun day at the amusement park.

Older children will need different types of accounts.

When your child is a little older and actually has some of his own expenses, such as gas, you can go ahead and open him a debit checking account. One thing to make sure of is that the account is a no fee checking account, so your child won’t have to pay a yearly fee to the bank. An even better type of checking account to set up for your child is a checking account with interest, and even if the interest rate is low, it’s still better than nothing. Even when your child has his own checking and savings account, your name should still be on the account so you can ensure that your child is being responsible with his money.

Choose online banking to make things easier.

You and your child may be asking, “Can I open a checking account online?” and in this day and age, the answer is yes. Opening a checking account online will save you time by not having to drive to the bank, and many banks will allow you and your child to make mobile deposits. That aspect can come in handy before your child learns to drive. The bank website will guide you through the process of setting up free checking accounts, but if you want to ask someone questions about the process or perks, it will likely be beneficial for you and your child to go to the bank in person.