It’s never too early to start teaching your child or children about the value of money and other basic financial concepts like how to save money.
If you believe the time is right for you to open a checking or savings account for your child, find out how you can do this in a few steps outlined below.
Decide Which Type of Checking or Savings Account to Open
When opening a checking or savings account for a minor under the age of 18, there are typically two types of accounts you can choose from to open – either a joint account or a custodial account.
A joint checking or savings account is an account where just one adult over the age of 18 is listed as the account owner, but your child is listed as someone on the account who can access the account to deposit or withdraw money. Some financial institutions offer joint account options specifically for children under the age of 18 to open with a parent or guardian. Joint checking or savings accounts can be a choice for families looking to teach their child the value of saving money but also allowing them access to withdraw and spend money wisely.
A custodial checking or savings account doesn’t allow your child to use the account immediately, but they are set up for the benefit of your child. Custodial accounts may be a good option if you as the parent or guardian plan to deposit funds every so often in the account for a future expense that you will use to benefit your child, such as on education or a car when they turn 16. Once your child turns 18, any funds in these types of accounts will become his or hers, and your child will have full access and control over the account.
What You Need to Open a Checking or Savings Account for Your Child
Whether you choose first to open a checking or savings account for your child and whether that is a simple joint account or a custodial account, there are a few things you will typically need in order to open an account for your child.
Three of the most common things that you will need to open a checking or savings account for your child are an ID that shows you are over the age of 18, paperwork indicating that you are the child’s legal parent or guardian, and on occasion, a small cash or check deposit to open the account with. Once you present these to your financial institution, they can walk you through the steps on how to access the account, deposit funds in the account, and even access the account via online or mobile banking if those are features offered by your financial institution.
The Right Time to Open a Checking or Savings Account for Your Child
Each family is unique, so there is no “right” or “wrong” time to open a checking or savings account for your child. Legally as your child’s parent or guardian, you can open a checking or savings account for him or her as soon as he or she is born. If you choose to open a checking or savings account early in your child’s life on his or her behalf, it is your decision as they mature when the right time is to give them more input and access to the account.
On the other hand, you can help your child open a checking or savings account at any time before he or she turns 18.
Opening a checking or savings account for your child can be a good way to give them exposure with your supervision on how to use a checking or savings account, the value of money, and how to save for their future expenses. Opening a checking or savings account for your child can also teach and give him or her a sense of independence when it comes to money, which can be an important skill to have throughout life.
Do you need help managing your finances? Let us know!
It can be challenging to balance your savings, loans, and other accounts all in one place. However, we offer many ways to manage your finances at Camino Federal Credit Union through our branch location, online banking, and mobile banking app. Please give us a call at 800-835-3400 to speak with one of our Member Advisors, or contact us online at caminofcu.org for more information.