Last February, my youngest son turned 13. To celebrate this momentous occasion, I took the boys to Wells Fargo to get them Teen Checking Accounts. They had been using Youth Cash Cards, which were nice but had a couple of drawbacks:
1. They could not deposit checks into their accounts. So, I had to cash the checks for them and then hand them the money so that they could make a deposit. Not a big deal but it is an inconvenience when your kids mow yards or get birthday money via a check.
2. Although I could transfer money into their accounts, I couldn’t transfer money out of their accounts. This was only a big deal when they owed me money for some purchase that I paid for at the store.
3. They couldn’t write checks.
We give our boys an allowance of $50 per month (a nice round number). Their money is divided as follows:
$5.00 – Tithe/charitable
$12.50 – Savings
$32.50 – Spending
We set up savings accounts at the same time their checking accounts were getting set up. I set it up so that each month $12.50 automatically goes into their savings account. The boys DO NOT have access to their savings accounts without my approval.
So far things are going great. I love that I have access to their account information from my Wells Fargo accounts page. I can see where their money goes. They can buy stuff online or at a store. The cashiers sometimes look at them quizically because they aren’t used to seeing kids with what looks like a credit card.
My eventual goal is to figure out how much my wife and I spend on routine expenses for our boys, deposit that into their accounts and make them responsible for making and sticking to a budget. They have to learn sometime and I think sooner is better than later.