Family, Saving Money

Taking My Daughter To The Bank To Open Her First Savings Account

I am so excited.

I am going to take my oldest daughter to the bank and help her open her first savings account!

She’s ten now, having recently celebrated her birthday, and she has some birthday-checks to cash.  One of our local banks offers a no-fee, no-minimum balance required savings account for children under 16.  This type of account will be perfect for my daughter.

Over the past few years, my wife and I have worked hard to teach our kids about saving, spending, and giving.  Last year, we introduced them to the wildly-successful Kids’ Fun Fun.

I want to incorporate trips to the bank into our regular weekly routine.  I want my daughter to be comfortable with the entire process – filling out the deposit slip, endorsing the check, talking to the teller – so that she will never feel “overwhelmed” by the banking experience.

In a few years, when she’s ready for a checking account, she’ll have some grasp of how personal money management works.  Hopefully, by the time she’s ready for college, she’ll be prepared and be able to avoid many of the financial missteps that others often make.

What about you?  How old were you when you or your parents opened your first savings account?  Have you opened one for your son or daughter?  I would love to read your comments.

14 thoughts on “Taking My Daughter To The Bank To Open Her First Savings Account

  1. How exciting for your daughter!

    I don’t recall how old I was when my parents first opened a savings account for me. I would guess somewhere between six and eight. (I got a paper route when I was nine/ten (until we moved), and already had a savings account then, I think.)

    The bank had a Moola Moola savings account for kids (I googled it, and it seems a lot of banks and credit unions have it). It made saving fun with the little rewards for deposits (I think chocolates), birthday cards, and other fun (but cheap) trinkets that were fun to receive.

    My parents made us save every penny we got. In a way it was nicer for us to have this money when we got to college (what I earned through age 12 from my paper route and birthday gifts paid for about a quarter of college), but I wish they had taught us to budget by letting us save/give/spend.

  2. I got my first savings account at that age and kept it until I was in college and the local bank was no longer so local (although two years after I closed the account, they put a branch in near my campus!). I definitely think it’s a good idea and that it helped me to understand banking a lot better. When I got to college, I met someone who’d never used an ATM before and didn’t know how it worked. I was really glad not to be that guy!

  3. I actually opened my first checking account with my mom at age 16. That was when I first learned to drive and first got a job. Unfortunately, I was thrown into the whole thing and had to learn about checking accounts fairly quickly. Fortunately, the whole process is not difficult.

  4. I think this is great, and I also had a savings account from a young age. I was pretty good about managing that money throughout high school. However, I would caution that this does NOT translate into being able to manage a checking account. I had no experience with this when I went to college, and a roommate had to sit with me and figure out my then jumbled finances. I think as long as you educate your daughter about checking accounts and how they work before she goes to college, she will be ok.

  5. My first memory of having a savings accounts is when I was 9 and had my Holy Communion (am Catholic), but I think it existed already earlier. My checking account was opened when I was 16, when I first started working part-time in addition to school.

  6. My parents took me to open a checking and savings account around this same age. I remember getting a check book! It was exciting. Later on they also helped me get a debit card.

    I am really looking forward to my kids getting old enough to do some of these things, but I also wish they never grow up. 5months and 2 and a half are such cute ages.

  7. We opened our daughter’s savings account when she was 8. One of our local banks offers a kids’ savers program that, each summer, if the kids read 10 books, they’ll deposit $10 into their account. So we opened it last summer and have continued to deposit into it.

    Like you mention, we involve my daughter in the process – even having her check her statement each month to add in the interest she earns.

    She’s up to almost $300, and while that’s not earth-shattering, I figure at this rate, there’s a good chance of this account serving as the gas and insurance money for a vehicle when she’s ready to drive, or something like that. (The plan – we hope – is that the car itself will be the one my husband and I currently share, and that we will then get a new one. Crossing our fingers on that part!)

  8. We opened a savings account for our son at our credit union when he was two months old. A few months later, we opened a STAR fund for him at Vanguard. Each financial gift he gets for big occasions (birthdays, christening, etc.) goes right in there for him.

  9. I’m trying to remember how old I was, but it’s escaping me. I do have fond memories of going to the bank with my Dad, even when I was too young to have an account of my own. Once I was old enough, I remember Dad teaching me to fill in the deposit/withdrawal slips and letting me go to the teller myself (he stood back a bit, just in case I needed him). This gave me a great amount of confidence at the bank. In fact, when I was 15, I was upset by a teller who routinely treated me poorly when my parents weren’t nearby. I complained to the manager, who treated me just as poorly. I told my parents, who helped me realize that I had other options for banking if I wasn’t satisfied. Dad came with me (again, standing back) as I closed my account and took out my life savings (about $1500) to the bank at the other end of the mall. I really value my parents giving me the lessons and confidence to bank independently and stand up for myself. Congrats to you for starting this part of your daughter’s financial education.

  10. Our kids have ING Direct accounts. It’s not quite as “real” as walking into a brick and mortar bank, but then again online banking is pretty darn “real” in our life. Also, since ING pays a semi-reasonable interest rate, they get excited seeing their money grow (albeit slowly).

  11. I do think it’s the parents responsibility to teach their children how to properly manage money. If they grow up seeing the good examples, then they will follow suit. Sadly many parent’s do not know how to properly budget and save. It’s good to see that there are others trying to get the word out!

  12. When I was 7 years old, I opened an account with a bank that had a “Squirrels Club”. The club would send a newsletter featured squirrels as cartoon characters. Their materials included games, puzzles, and tips on such things as saving money — explaining topics like interest compounding. I believe that the Squirrels Club was run by an association of different savings and loans.

    That bank went through a series of acquisitions, and ended up becoming a Citibank. But Citibank doesn’t have any program like that, and I don’t know what ever happened to the Squirrels Club. Looking around at other banks, I don’t see any similar savings accounts for kids anymore.

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