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Encouraging Teens to Use Banks and Save Money

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 16 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
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Two useful skills to teach to teens are the art of saving money and using banks. The appropriate knowledge and know how don’t necessarily come naturally, but they are skills that you can teach your teen.

If your teen has a Saturday or part-time job, or earns money from doing jobs around the house, the temptation might be to spend all their earnings at once. But as we all know, money doesn’t grow on trees and sometimes it’s far better to put the money to one side and save it for a rainy day. Whilst some teens may be inclined to save their money, it doesn’t come so naturally for others, which is why it’s a useful skill to instil.

Teens and Bank Accounts

If your teen hasn’t already had a bank account as a child, then as soon as they reach their teen years, it’s a good idea to set one up. All the major high street banks have savings and current accounts and there are often options available aimed at teens. For example, there are good student accounts aimed at older teens heading off to college or university that often come with extra offers when you sign up (free student railcards being a good example).

If you’re not sure what’s on offer, then either pop into a bank to discuss the options or browse the bank websites. These days it’s common to set up an account online, without the need to go into a bank, but to help get your teen familiar with banking, it’s a good idea to actually go in with your form and set it up in person. That way they can get used to how things operate – like which counter to go to when paying money in and how to actually pay money in.

Depending on the age of your teen and whether they’re setting up a current account or a savings account, you may need to consider whether they’re old enough and responsible enough to have a debit card yet.

Encouraging Teens to Save Money

Once they’ve got a bank account, it’s a good idea to help encourage your teen to save money. If they’re got a part-time job, do jobs around the house of simply have monetary gifts for birthday’s or Christmas, then all or most of this morning is ideal for saving. Let them know that it’s fine to spend small amounts on treats, but it’s better to not blow it all on frivolities – some put aside can grow considerably when saved over time in a bank.

It helps if you have a similar approach to saving money yourself, as teens will learn by example, so do try to be seen to be saving money too! You can also help encourage further saving by giving your teen targets and perhaps even extra incentives to reach certain savings marks.

For example, if they manage to save £200 you could commit to giving them a bonus £20 to mark the occasion. Or if they’ve got other siblings, you could turn it into a race to see who can save the most money in a given time period.

Being able to save money is a useful skill for teens to have, as it gives them responsibility, helps them appreciate money and the cost of things, and builds up extra recognition about how banking works. All of these are really useful skills to take on into their adult life.

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