Teenagers can establish credit with Youth Accounts

Your child’s high school years will likely have its ups and downs with grades, friends, sports and other things.

One thing that shouldn’t be as rocky is your student’s finances. Unless your child has his or her own job, you’ll be responsible for his expenses until they are employed. Here are a few things to help your high school student achieve financial success.

Create a joint account

Think ahead to the time when your teenager will be faced with firsts in their lives, such as a new job. With income of their own, it may be smart to open a joint account with them so that you can monitor their spending habits and be able to actively intervene if you need to. A joint checking account with a debit or ATM card provides your teen with convenient access to their money. Encourage them to use Direct Deposit so that their paycheck is automatically deposited into their account.

Show them how a budget works

By law, you have to be at least 18 years old to open your own credit union or bank account. Until then, you are your child’s financial advisor and teacher. Discuss basic money management practices, including how to create a budget. Show them how expenses such as a car payment, car insurance, gas and other possible things can drastically affect a person’s budget.

Establish good savings habits

While the concept may frustrate teens, teach them that the best thing they can do with their money from part-time jobs is save it. Show them how putting aside a set amount of money each payday can grow into a big savings account later that can be used as a down payment on a new car, a trip or some other goal your teen has in mind.

If you need help teaching your teens about managing their money, Travis Credit Union can help. Our free financial education seminars and workshops include our Mad City Money Teen Financial Workshop that teaches teens about adult financial responsibilities such as paying bills, managing budgets and saving for wanted items.

Visit www.traviscu.org/calendar to find the next Mad City Money workshop.

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