It’s never too early to start thinking about a savings account for the family. But more importantly, how can we get our children involved with the process? We asked Dee Herring, Manager of the Carmel Drive Branch of Everwise Credit Union (formerly Teacher’s Credit Union) some important questions regarding a savings account for our children.
What is the first step parents should take when opening a savings account for their child at Everwise?
Dee says to talk to your children before coming in. “Tell them that it’s time that they had their own savings account so they can learn about responsibility and financial wellbeing. Talking to them and having a discussion about this important milestone in life will help create excitement for them for doing something ‘big kids” do.” She suggests that once you’ve had that discussion, schedule a time when you and your child can come into a branch together.
Are there specific programs that are geared towards children’s savings accounts?
Dee shares a bit with us about the Kids Club program at Everwise. She says, “We have a Kids Club that’s designed for children up to age 12. Parents or guardians can open a membership with the child as the primary owner. Our Kids Club makes saving fun and rewarding for your young ones.” Dee also mentions that children get a cool piggy bank when you open an account and can learn and grow with their free online financial education tools, designed especially for parents and kids to use together.
At the age of 14, Dee tells that teens can open a Student Rewards Checking account to manage their money and earn cash rewards. “The account features cutting-edge tech for 24/7 banking, everyday buying power with a cash-back debit card and pays teens for learning more about money management and then taking a few simple steps.” This account is for students aged 14 – 23. Once they turn 24 years of age their account will automatically change to a Performance Checking, which also has no monthly fee if they’re enrolled in eStatements.
Is there a minimum amount you recommend families deposit into the savings accounts? And if so, how often?
“The $7 membership fee is waived for minors and the savings can be opened with as little as $5. We would recommend coming to Everwise as often as necessary! We would love to foster good habits for kids who want to learn about saving money,” Dee shares. She also mentions that a perfect time to deposit funds into a saving account would be when they receive money for completing tasks around the house or reaching milestones like birthdays and graduations.
What are your top tips for developing a healthy savings relationship from a young age?
“Make agreements with your kids when depositing money. If they don’t want to deposit all of it, go half and half. Let them spend some and save some.” Dee suggests to “emphasize the receipts when they make a deposit to help illustrate that their balance is growing. In addition, help them set savings goals for each month and each year.”
How hands-on can my child be with their savings account? Does it transfer to their possession when they turn 18?
With the Student Rewards Checking account at Everwise, teens can move money from savings to checking and vice-versa and there are no limitations on online banking for them. “Parents can monitor the account if they have the log-in information. For kids under 18, a parent is required to help open the account for them, so usually they choose the log-in information and password together so they can both monitor the account. When the child turns 18, the parents can choose to remove themselves from the account.”
Anything of importance that you want to add or emphasize about opening a savings account?
Dee stresses that savings accounts can help teach important life lessons like the difference between “want” and “need.” “They can also help educate children about how to save for a “later” reward. Plus, opening an account for your child can also teach them about necessary banking language, such as savings, deposit, balance, withdrawal, and interest. Getting them a savings account early can help build a foundation for healthy financial habits for the rest of their lives.” She shares with us that the Everwise products are designed to encourage children to become responsible with their finances and we want to make coming into a branch a fun experience for them.
Everwise is federally insured by NCUA. To learn more, visit everwisecu.com.