One thing that many young adults and parents of young adults agree about is the fact that the public school system doesn't always prepare students for real life needs — like banking accounts. It's up to you to prepare your kids with the real life skills that they'll need to thrive as adults. Here, you'll find a few tips to help you start teaching your kids financial responsibility throughout their childhood.
Open a Banking Account
Little ones can open a savings account at many banks and credit unions. You'll likely be required to deposit a certain amount, usually $25 or $50, to open the account. Then, you can deposit whatever increments you choose from that point on.
Take your little one to deposit money anytime he or she builds up a bit at home. Have them deposit half of what they have and allow them to decide if they want to deposit the other half or spend it on whatever it is that they've been wanting — they could also hold onto some of the cash stash at home to save up for a more expensive toy they may have had their eye on.
Connect Them to a Family Account
As the kids get older, they'll be asking for money to do things with their friends, to invest into the video games they play, and so many other things. A lot of times, it's safer to send the kids out with a debit card than it would be to send them out with cash — if they lose the debit card, you'll have a better chance of canceling the card before the money can be spent than you would finding the money that dropped out of his or her pocket along the road somewhere.
With a family account, you manage the account and can take debit cards out in each of the kids' names. You'll be able to track what they're spending and where they're spending it. Then, at the end of each month, sit the kids down and show them where all of their money went – they might decide that it would be better to quit spending all of their money at the candy store when they find out how much they'd have if they'd saved up.
Financial responsibility can start at a very young age — start now and by the time they graduate high school, you'll have prepared them for what they'll need to manage checking and savings accounts, pay their bills, and choose what they spend their money on wisely.