Picture of teenage boy using phone

When Should My Child Open a Checking Account?

What's the Right Age?  

Teaching children to manage money is important for their long term success.  A teen checking account is a logical progression from a savings account. The checking account can help teach your child to manage their money while allowing you the ability to monitor their activity and teach them sound financial habits.

While the right age is up to the parent, a few milestones will help you decide if now is the right time:

  • Do they have a job?  If so, many employers pay with direct deposit and this allows your child to deposit directly into their account.  They can also use their hard-earned money and checking account to pay for purchases themselves.
  • Is your child still at home?    If your child is under the age of 18, they can open a checking account with a parent or guardian as a co-owner.  This means that both parties will have equal access to and responsibility for the account. 
  • Are they attending more activities and events independently?   Is your child beginning to pay for things when you are not with them?  Such as lunch while on a field trip or a movie with a friend?  If so, now might be a great time to open a checking account use their debit card or digital wallet to make purchases.
How can I monitor my child's account?
As a co-owner of the account, you can request access to their account through online banking and our mobile app.  It's easy to monitor their account balance and transaction history.  You can also request a lower ATM transaction limit on the teen's checking account (limiting the amount of money they can spend per transaction).  Finally, you can use online banking or the mobile app to set up real-time transaction notifications.  

How secure is a checking account?
Safety and security are our top priorities.  Rather than carrying cash, having your child carry a debit card or use their digital wallet, allows you to monitor their spending, and if they lose their debit card, it can be turned on/off quickly using online banking or our mobile app.  You can set up the account to receive real-time notifications, plus you'll have a historical log, so you know where and how much they are spending.  Finally, all our checking accounts are FDIC insured. 

What will my child learn?
Financial education is a top priority at Flatwater Bank.  A checking account is just another step in your child's financial journey, and we want to be a part of it.  Experience is a great teacher, and with their own money involved, the stakes can be very relevant to your child.  Allowing them to make mistakes in a controlled environment will help them develop the strong habits they need to be successful adults.

Below are other features available with our teen checking accounts:

Kids with a computer or smart device (and parents) can track balances, set alerts, and turn their debit card on/off.

Kids can add their Flatwater Bank Visa debit card to their Apple Pay or other digital wallets on their mobile device.

Round up to the nearest dollar with round up savings and let your child's savings add up automatically.