Ok, so you’re finally ready to open your first bank account. Congratulations! You are now on your way to becoming financially independent. You can now crack open that little porcelain piggy that’s been eying you your whole life. Whew! But wait…what’s next?
Now would be a great time to sit down with your parents or guardian and decide which bank to put your money in. You should first do some research into which bank would be best for you based on your financial goals. Investopedia is a financial education website and recommends that you open an account specifically geared for teens. These types of accounts usually have little to no fees and can be connected to a parent or guardian’s account.
At EmpowHERto, we’re here to provide you with the information you need to make informed financial decisions. Ultimately, whichever bank you choose should be a decision you make with the guidance of a responsible adult. Still, here are some questions to consider before you take that first leap toward becoming a financially responsible adult. After all, you wouldn’t just hand over your hard-earned cash to just anyone!
What’s your primary reason for opening an account?
Are you looking to become more financially independent? Are you saving up for a car? Headed off to college soon? Your primary reason for opening an account can guide you towards the best bank for your specific goal. Some accounts offer higher interest rates and others offer benefits for long-term savings, and there are accounts specifically created for students. Also, in addition to physical banks, there are many online banks available with accounts with teens in mind.
Are there any monthly fees associated with the account?
Some banks charge a monthly fee for maintaining a checking account. These can usually be waived by maintaining a minimum balance in the account or by having a connected savings account. Compare and contrast the different types of accounts at the bank. Teen accounts usually waive certain fees for your age group, especially when connected to a parent or guardian’s account.
What account options do they offer?
Most, if not all, bank accounts offer online banking and alerts, mobile banking (including mobile deposits), and of course, a debit card attached to the account. But what about debit card use? Will you have unlimited debit transactions? Can you sign up for text alerts?
What happens when you age out of the account?
If you choose to open a teen or youth account, make sure that you and your guardian are aware of the terms of the account. How old do you have to be to open the account on your own (or with a joint account owner) and how long can you keep this account? Most teen accounts are available for account holders under the age of 18. These accounts also come with more restrictions on the number of deposits and transfers you can make per month that may be lifted when you become an adult. While these restrictions may lift, other penalties may be put in place (such as fees) if you overdraw on the account.
In addition to teen accounts, there are also accounts specifically made for college students. Check if your bank has one available. If so, it would be a great transition if you are planning to attend university.
Wherever you decide to put your money, make sure that you’ve done the research to find what will work best for you now and in the long run.