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4 Ways to Teach Kids About Money

September 20, 2016

Anybody with children knows the struggle of teaching their kids about financial responsibility and independence. “But why can’t I have the new iPhone?” they’ll ask you, or, when things start to get really interesting, “How come my friends already have cars and I don’t?”

Before you pull all your hair out while explaining for the hundredth time that money doesn’t just APPEAR with a wave of a credit card, help teach them responsible saving and spending habits that will last a lifetime.  Good saving and spending skills take time to become habit, but the good news is they can be learned through practice and patient guidance. 

First Security Bank offers several options for kids and teens who want to have access to their own funds or learn how to control their spending. Here are four services to help your kids on their way to financial independence:

Savings Accounts for Kids
One way to help kids develop good habits is to give an allowance, and require a certain amount be contributed to a savings account. Maybe they get to choose what percentage goes to savings. They might protest, but don’t be discouraged!  If there’s something they really want, whether a new toy, video game, or bike, let them participate in the process by having them save up for all or a portion of the purchase price.  Signing up for online banking can help them watch their money grow while using their favorite device.

Teaching your kids the habit of saving early in life will translate to their teenage years, when they start wondering how they’re going to make a big purchase like a car. With the skills you’ve taught, they’ll be able to take responsibility and save money for themselves. Details about FSB savings accounts here.

Checking Accounts for Kids:
After your kids become comfortable saving money with a savings account and you’re comfortable  letting them have more freedom over their cash (gulp), you can open a free checking account with a checkbook and a debit card.  A free checking account must be opened with a parent or guardian as co-owner, but we can issue your children their own debit cards with your permission. With a checking account, you can deposit money whenever you choose, and your kids will have access to those funds.  Opening a checking account is a major step toward financial independence, and responsible spending. 

Travel Cards (for kids?)
Travel cards aren’t just for international travel – they can be a convenient way to pay an allowance by loading funds onto a card each month.  Knowing exactly how much money they have left until their next allowance date can help them decide to skip the popcorn at the movies if they really want to buy that video game next month, and only spend money on things that they can afford.

A VISA Travel Card gives your children access to a debit card, while still maintaining some control over how much money is in their accounts and how much they can spend. The Travel Card can be used anywhere debit cards are accepted, and is reloadable for convenience and control.  A parent or guardian can purchase the travel card and the minor can obtain the companion card and use it like any other debit card with no restrictions.
  • Fee Summary:
    • Purchase fee: $9.95, Companion Card- $2.95
    • Reload:Direct Deposit- No Charge, First Security Bank- $4.95
  • Card Basics:
    • PIN-based debit card
    • Minimum Age to Purchase:16 years old (primary)
    • Minimum Age to Use: 13 years old (companion)
    • Minimum load value: $20.00
    • Maximum load value: $3,000.00
  • 4 Ways to Load:
    • Cash
    • Load Online
    • Direct Deposit
    • Western Union location
Gift Cards
If you’re giving a one-time gift to a child and they don’t have a checking account, the VISA Gift Card is a great option. The cards are not reloadable, but can be used anywhere VISA cards are accepted. Find out more about gift cards from First Security Bank.
  • Fee Summary:
    • Purchase Fee: $4.95
  • Card Basics:
    • PIN-based debit card
    • No minimum age to purchase
    • Minimum load fee: $10.00
    • Maximum load value: $1,000.00
Visit any of our locations in our Bozeman, Belgrade, Three Forks, West Yellowstone, Big Sky  (and soon Fairfield, Choteau and Vaughn) to explore banking options for your child today.

Posted in: budget, saving