Kids and Money: Seven Tips

As community bankers we frequently visit classrooms to talk about banking and money management.

For the little kids we focus on the difference between needs and wants and on the importance of saving money. For the teens we talk about more complex topics like how banks and credit works. We talk to them about what happens when you borrow money, why everyone needs a checking account and what credit scores mean.

We do this because we believe financial education is important and we are happy to provide this service to youngsters and young adults in our communities. However, we hope that parents will spend some time educating their kids about these topics as well. Here are seven tips to get you started.

Teach them about saving. Whether it’s a piggy bank, a clear glass jar or a passbook savings account, teach your kids to save money and to be excited about seeing it grow. Talk to them about how saving money means they’ll have funds for something they really want or need in the future.

Talk about the difference between needs and wants.   This is a lesson that a lot of adults could use as well. In talking to third graders with our Teach Kids To Save program, we find that they have an excellent grasp on what they need and what they want. They need a pair of shoes. They want the kind that light up when they walk. By the time they’re in high school, we find it’s often harder to get them to admit they don’t need the latest iPhone.

Talk about the cost of things. As you’re grocery shopping or making decisions about purchases, initiate a conversation about why you are buying the off brand canned goods or how buying in bulk saves money in the long run. Help them understand that even the small purchases call for decision making.

Give them a chance to earn money – Whether to give allowance or pay for chores is a personal decision each family must make. We will say that there is wisdom in providing kids with the opportunity to manage money they had to earn. Modest pay for chores or allowance gives them the chance to learn about responsible spending and saving. If you have teenagers, encourage them to take on a part time job or to do odd jobs in the neighborhood.

Help them open a Student Checking Account. They will need one eventually and learning to manage an account now will help them later in life. Click here to learn more about how Student Checking at VCNB works.

Discuss Debt. This is a good subject for everyone but especially for teens who have their eye on car ownership. Talk to them about things they might need to borrow money for – like a car, college education and house – and about saving money for a down payment. Also talk about how to manage a credit card responsibly and why they should avoid charging more than they can pay off in a month.

Talk savings. Teach them about the three most important kinds of savings for adults: personal, emergency and retirement. While retirement savings may not seem like a priority to a teenager, it will be important in a few years once they’re starting out in their career.

Your kids are going to learn about money from someone. Wouldn’t it be better coming from you?

Why Teens Need a Checking Account

VCNB began offering a student checking account a few years ago in response to a growing number of teens and parents who requested it. There is significant value to a teenager having an age appropriate checking account and we are optimistic that this generation of teens will be more financially savvy because of it.

After all, a teen will be an adult in a few short years. Whether they are headed straight to the workforce or to higher education, your teen soon will experience some degree of independence. Helping them establish good money habits at a young age is an important way to give them a good start to adulthood.

Here’s some food for thought:

Expense tracking and budgeting
Having a checking account teaches teenagers the very basic of skill of not spending more than they have as well as how to record expenses and debits. In general, it helps them develop budgeting skills they will use for a lifetime.

Independence, good habits and financial responsibility
As a parent, you have spent years managing every aspect of your child’s life. While you may not like to think about it, soon your teen will be an adult who needs to make responsible decisions. Independence starts in the teen years and helping them make sound decisions with their money is part of preparing them for adulthood. Habits are created every day – work with them and use a checking account to teach them good ones

Safer than cash
We notice that many of our student checking accounts are opened by teens who are going on school field trips, sometimes out of country. It’s far safer to travel distances or even just around town with a debit card than with a pocketful of cash.

Check out this link to learn more about Student Checking My Way at VCNB. You’ll find this account listed under the Checking Accounts tab.

 

Teach Teens Money Skills With Student Checking

Every parent wants their child to succeed in life. One way to help them get off on the right foot is to give them a strong financial foundation on which to stand, build and grow. That does not necessarily mean giving them a lot of money but instead helping them understand how to use and manage the money they do have.

Whether they have just a small weekly allowance, pay from an after school job, or have a large savings, it is important for young people to spend their teen years learning how to pay for things and how to manage a checking or savings account.

One way to accomplish this is to help them open a Student Checking My Way account at VCNB. This account is designed especially for teens ages 14-17 and provides them with access to a traditional checking account with mobile and online banking, a debit card and account alerts.

Young customers will have access to a debit card and the spending abilities that come with it.

The account also comes with a host of ways to safely monitor activity and to manage the account electronically. Account alerts can be set to notify you or your teen of account activity. Sign up to receive a text or email for a variety of account activities including whenever the debit card is used or when the balance falls below an amount that you set.

Online banking and mobile banking make it easy to see where and when money is spent, to transfer funds between accounts and to view bank statements.

We encourage parents and teens to work together so that young people are experienced at handling their bank account and prepared to manage their funds by the time they graduate high school. This very basic step can make a tremendous difference when a young graduate is venturing out into the world.

Remember though, a parent or guardian must be made joint account owner. This account can be opened online or in any of our sixteen banking centers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start With Student Checking

 

 

Piggy bank with glasses and blackboard

Begin with the basics. That’s what we tell young people who are interested in opening a bank account. This is why we have introduced a checking account specifically for young people and for students who wish to learn how to manage their money and their accounts responsibly.

With our new Student Checking account, students as young as 14 can have a checking account with all the bells and whistles including a debit card, online banking, VCNB Mobile, account alerts, direct deposit and more.

With Student Checking, young customers can learn good money management skills that will last a lifetime and develop a relationship with a bank they can trust. A parent or guardian must be made a joint owner of the account if the student is under 18 years of age. Visit this link to read the full details of our new Student Checking account and to open online.

Student Checking accounts can be opened online or in any of our seventeen VCNB offices. Click here to find one in your neighborhood!