9.1.20

Money doesn’t grow on trees

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Girl in blue dress holding a pink piggy bank

How to teach your kids money management skills at any age.

Kids carry many habits learned young their entire lives, so it makes sense to teach them about money early. The very first personal finance lessons they get are those you teach by example. Kids can also get hands-on money knowledge by opening their own bank accounts. Setting your child up with a Consumers Youth Savings Account or getting your teen set up with a checking account and debit card is a great way to instill smart money habits in your kids when they’re young.

Youth savings accounts

Saving helps kids learn that they may have to wait to buy something they want. Set your child up for success by starting with a small goal, such as toy.

When they have money—from an allowance, doing chores or a gift—encourage them to save part of it. Have them put their savings into a piggy bank that they can later deposit in an account in their own name. Consumers Youth Savings Accounts are especially for kids up to age 12. They can open an account with just $5. To make saving fun at home, they also get a free piggy bank and downloadable coloring book.

Help your child keep track of their savings by counting what’s in their piggy bank and showing them their account balance online.

As your child progresses toward their goal, there will be teachable moments when they want something. You can have conversations about how long it took to reach X dollars in savings to get Y. If they buy Z, it will take longer to get Y. Ask what they really want to do with their money? It’s okay if they’ve changed their mind. Children will quickly learn they can’t buy everything they want.

Teen checking accounts and debit cards

Help older kids learn to be smart money managers by introducing them to checking accounts, debit cards, and mobile banking.

Once your child reaches age 15, their own checking account and debit card can provide them with opportunities to learn how to save, budget and spend. A parent or guardian co-owns the account and can monitor transactions and help set up alerts that can guide spending habits.

Explain to your teen how checking accounts and debit cards work. Or, if you’d like some help with this lesson, bring them to one of our offices and we’ll show them.

Your teen’s checking account can be funded by you, your child or a combination. Parents often deposit a set amount into a teen’s account each month with the expectation that the money will be used for specific things. For example, food, clothing, video games, music or events.

With access to Online Banking, your teen can easily see how much money is in their account and decide if it makes sense to make a purchase now, later or not at all.

Every child has to learn that money doesn’t grow on trees. Help your child or teen understand money basics with their own youth accounts at Consumers.

Bonus tip: Discover more about teaching your kids money lessons in this post on Forbes.

Double bonus: Each year, we award $30,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors to help them continue their education. Only youth members are eligible. Read more.

Consumers provides banking services for more than 100,000 members, including many kids and teens. If you have banking questions, call us at 800-991-2221 or connect with us online. We make it easy to bank how you want, when you want.

Federally insured by NCUA

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