Teen Financial Tips
Help your teen reach financial independence with a joint checking account and money management tips
If you have a teenager, you're probably getting ready for them to take the reins when it comes to managing their money. Whether they're earning an allowance from you or have a job of their own, practicing smart and effective money management is something that will not only benefit them in their teens, but as they enter adulthood. Below are some tips to help set your teen up for successful money management and steer them toward financial independence.
Open a personal checking account
A great way to give your teen ownership of his or her finances is to open a joint personal checking account that they can take ownership of. For kids who have just entered their teens or those who aren't quite ready for the responsibility of managing an account on their own, start with a joint account that you also have access to. That way you can monitor transactions and provide hands-on guidance when needed.
For teenagers over 18, a student checking account is a great option. This kind of personal checking account offers features that fit their lifestyle and banking needs like low balance requirements, online bill pay, mobile alerts and more. Green Checking from Citizens Bank is an ideal choice when you're ready to get your teen started with an affordable, easy-to-manage checking account.
Establish a budget
Once you and your teen have established a joint personal checking account, talk to them about budgeting. The ultimate goal of establishing a budget is to help them become accountable for their money and really see where it's going. Resist the temptation to bail them out with extra cash if they hit some hurdles and make unwise spending decisions. As they gain more experience with this responsibility, they'll learn to make smarter choices with their money. Some other tips for teen budgeting include:
- Clearly establish expectations around who is paying for what. Whether it's gas, a portion of the car insurance or any fees associated with sports or other recreational activities, your teen will need to know these funds will be coming out of their allowance or paycheck.
- Help them distinguish between wants versus needs and how impulse purchases can impact their budget.
Set savings goals
With a budget firmly in place and your teen well aware of how much money he or she has to spend in a given month, they can begin setting financial goals for the future. Goals will vary greatly based on each individual's income and responsibilities, but now that your child's older, he or she has probably shifted from short-term goals like saving for a new toy to longer term goals like saving for a car, computer or even college. Some tips for setting savings goals include:
- Consider having your teen open a savings account to establish a well-defined distinction between the money used for discretionary spending and bills in a personal checking account and money specifically designated for savings.
- Take advantage of online goal setting and tracking tools like those available with a GoalTrack SavingsSM account from Citizens Bank. This is a great way to get teens started with a savings program and can help them meet their goals sooner.
Open a Citizens Bank joint checking account with your student today
Ready to get your teen started on the road to financial independence? Contact a Citizens Bank representative today to find out more about Green Checking or other personal checking account options that could be a great fit for your teen's banking needs.