We all know that money doesn't grow on trees, but we all need it to survive. The use of cash will only go so far in life, as you can't send it through the mail. Checking accounts are relied upon to manage our finances and to send in payments for cable, phone, mortgages, etc. Even in this new era of ecommerce, it is still necessary to have the resources that a checking account provides.
When is the right time for kids to get their own checking accounts? There is a lot of debate among parents and bankers on this idea. Bankers will open a checking account for anyone who they feel is fit to have one. Parents have two sides to the story. Some parents think their kids should have one as soon as they can because it teaches them valuable lessons. Other parents believe their children don't need checks at young ages.
There are some good questions to ask yourself in order to find out if the time is right for checking responsibilities:
- Do they need an account? What expenditures do they have?
- Do you have any reservations in co-signing?
- Are they responsible, i.e. hold a job, get good grades, etc.
- Will they allow your intervention when it need be?
- Will you be able to monitor the account on the internet?
Checking accounts and kids really revolve around common sense. You should know if your child is capable of handling the responsibilities of writing checks. What really helps the arrangement is parental participation. Parents should be able to help their kids with any questions they will have and teach them how to balance and reconcile.
Benefits of Child Checking
While there may be some reservations about opening a checking account for a minor, there are some benefits. The child will be able to start managing money, and learn the ways of personal finances. They won't have to carry around cash with them all the time. An ATM card with access to the account is really the only thing they have to carry around.
The tracking abilities are probably the most welcomed aspect of checking. Banking online has changed drastically in the last few years. If you take advantage of all the possibilities, it is rare that you actually have to write a check. It is also amazing to track where the money goes. Expenditure tracking is good for adults and kids. It is a way to eliminate unnecessary spending.
A relationship with a financial institution starts your children interested in the whole process. Banks offer many other services than checking. They offer bonds and certificates of deposit, loans for cars and homes, and they also offer business financing.
Through anyone's life, they rely on the bank for many services. Banks are usually a low margin lender, giving customers more buying power. Checking account management at a young age leads to the importance of financial stability, clean credit, and flexibility.
Only you know when your children are ready for their first checking account. Take time to make the decision. Sit down with your kids and talk to them about finances to open up the dialogue.
Robb Ksiazek researches and writes valuable information for Checks-4U.com. His writings discuss topics based on the home and small business office and how to get the most out of your resources.