Bank Accounts for Kids – When Is Too Early?
Everyone loves comic book related media, like films and TV shows now. Before the 2008 ascent of Marvel movies, being a comic book nerd was NOT a cool thing to be. Believe me, I remember. I didn’t care, however. I have been buying comic books since my first summer job in the 1980s when I was 14 or 15. As I made money, I made a habit of buying music cassettes and comic books. I would buy 30 or 50 comics a week sometimes as I got older.
Then, cassettes suddenly became obsolete, and I had to adapt to buying CDs. If you pay for digital music streaming services, then you know how well that worked out for me. I don’t regret my significant comic book collection. But I do regret not fully appreciating the worth of money until later in life.
It pains me to think that I could have opened a bank account earlier in life. Saved $40 or $80 from every paycheck instead of buying questionable music and some less than interesting comic books. My mother always warned me about wasting money when I was a kid, but I never listened. Consider that the average American parent will pay over $233,000 to raise a child from the moment of birth to age 17.
It isn’t enough to make a child realize how much money it took to raise them. You need to help them realize how much they should respect money as they get older. Getting your child a bank account might be the answer.
The best reason to do so is that you can use it as a tool to teach your child financial responsibility. To make them appreciate the lengths you are going through to make sure that they understand the worth of a dollar. As a parent, you shouldn’t just let your child take for granted that they have money just waiting for them when they turn 18.
Encourage your child to get a job when they are mentally and emotionally responsible to do so. Help them to develop and maintain budgets. Stress the need for them to prioritize need over want when it comes to materialistic items. It’s hard for children, preteens, and teenagers to appreciate long-term consequences since their brains are still developing.
They need to know much sooner than later to respect the worth of money now. Or, chance growing up to continually respect the power of impatient creditors.
You can open a bank account for your child when they are an infant, toddler or teen. There is no one-size-fits-all kind of situation. It depends on how much money you want to add to such an account while they are young. Or, you may want to wait until they begin working. You will have to open the account in your own name in the name of the child. Then, you can optionally remove your name from the account when the child turns 18.
You might want to start with a basic savings account with few fees, no minimum balance or maintenance fees, and interest-bearing features. Even if you opt for a online account, you might want to take your child to a physical bank so they take in and appreciate the process of banking. In the digital age, a child might need to understand that banks don’t just exist online. Not yet anyway.
Capital One 360 Kids Savings Account has no minimum deposit and a 1% interest rate against savings. Aliant Credit Union Kids Savings Account has a 2% interest rate a $5 minimum deposit. The Bank of America Minor Savings Account has a $25 minimum deposit and a 0.03% interest against savings. It’s in your best interests to shop around. Also, you might want to inquire at your own bank about child bank accounts.
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Allen Francis was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years with no money, no financial literacy, and no responsibility when he had money. To him, the phrase “personal finance,” contains the power that anyone has to grow their own wealth. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including focusing on your needs instead of your wants, asking for help when you need it, saving and investing in your own small business