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The Nitty Gritty

Is it time to open a checking or savings account for your child?

How financially savvy is your child?
According to a recent survey, only five percent of adults received any kind of financial education in school. It is a scary statistic, and may partially explain consumers’ record-high credit card and student loan debt.

If you want to equip your kid with the tools to be financially secure adults, a good place to start is with a savings and/or checking account. Once your child sees money going in and coming out, it can drive home lessons in money management.

Wondering if your child can handle the responsibility? Read on…

Savings accounts
Most kids can typically grasp the concept of a savings account early in their development. Here’s how to know if your children are ready to use one:

Curiosity about money
If your child expresses a genuine interest in coins, shopping or anything related to money, this can be a good segue into a savings lesson: financial institutions allow you to put money aside until you really need it.

The piggy bank is overflowing
If your kid has a lot of change in his or her piggy bank, watch out. It may disappear before your eyes. Take this opportunity to teach them that if they save money in an account, it can earn interest (i.e., more money) over time.

A savings goal
If your child is saving up for something big, this is the perfect time to introduce a savings account. Your child can make a deposit into the account to avoid the temptation to spend all of that cash.

Checking accounts
Checking accounts tend to be suited better to older kids who have had more exposure to money. Ardent offers a Cash Account, specially designed for children 13 and older. Here are some signs that your kids could benefit from a checking account:

Regular Source of Income
Your child is making money either from a job or an allowance. A steady stream of income, no matter how small, is a good time to instill the right habits. It’s important for your child to start making conscious decisions on how much to save and how much to spend.

No schooling on personal finance
Most schools fail to teach basic concepts of personal finance, which means that it is up to you. A checking account can reinforce lessons about not spending more than you have, using a debit card, and more. Make sure to take advantage of some great videos offered by Ardent, which are designed to teach teens the money basics.

Cash is stuffed into the wallet
The wallet-as-checking-account is dangerous for several reasons. Not only can cash easily get lost, it’s hard to track your purchases. By contrast, an account statement lets you view all of your spending and withdrawal activity, which can be a handy budgeting tool.

If you’re eager to introduce your child to the world of personal finance, checking and savings accounts are a good place to start. Just watch for the signs that they are ready.
Learn more about Ardent Kid Accounts