Teach Kids Money Management
published on 07/29/2014
When is a good time to begin teaching your kids about money and banking?
“The earlier the better,” says Lisa Armendarez, a banker at RCB Bank. Armendarez admits even though she’s a banker, she’s learned a lesson or two from preparing her oldest child for life away from home.
I sat down with Armendarez, and her two children, Amanda, 22, in college, and Aaron, 17, a senior in high school, to talk about money and their experiences.
Lisa, how did you prepare your oldest for handling her own finances after she left home?
Lisa: I got her a debit card early, when she was16. I had control and put small amounts of money on it at a time. As she gained experience, I’d put more on it. When she got a job at 17, I handed it over to her to keep up with, balance and put money in.
I also made her sit down with me on the 1st and 15th of each month to pay the bills. I had her write the checks to the company.
Amanda, was this training enough? Did you feel prepared to handle your own finances when you left home?
Amanda: Yes, but I wish I had more in-depth training on how to balance my checkbook. It’s not as simple as I thought - pull up my account, see if my debits went through, balanced.
Aaron, how about you?
Aaron: I want more control of my account. I want to be more involved in the management of it.
Lisa: He’s always calling me, “I need money for this and that? Do I have money for gas?” You have money on your card, I say. He doesn’t have a clue how much he has. He doesn’t have access to see his account and I realize it’s time to let him start learning. He only has one more year left. Learning from Amanda, I need to give Aaron more independence with this account while he is still at home with me so I can help him. I started a little too late with Amanda. She was already out of the house, and so she’s often calling me with questions and needing help.
What’s most important to you when looking for a bank for your kids?
Lisa: Location (in the college town). Free account. I don’t want their accounts eaten up by service charges. And, ATM locations.
Amanda: Easy access to money in emergency and to be able to transfer money with mom. Mobile banking, definitely.
Lisa: Amanda went to RSU at first, so we opened up an account at RCB Bank since I work there. It was easy to transfer money if need be and help her out. Later, she moved to Hawaii and had to open an account there. I remember her calling me from the parking lot asking what to do and what all she needed. I realized I need to let my son be more active in managing his account now before he leaves home.
I did tell Amanda to keep her RCB Bank account and debit card open, so in case of emergency, I can access and transfer money into her account.
What about Aaron? Have you thought about where he’ll bank?
Lisa: He plans to go to Pitt State. No RCB Bank branch there, so we’re still figuring that out. With mobile banking and direct deposit, he might not have to change banks.
Any personal advice on money matters for other young adults and parents?
Amanda: It’s important to keep up with your account. It can get out of control real quick. It’s important to stay on top of it and saving. Prepare for things that might come up unexpectedly, new tires, doctor bills. You’ve got to put extra money back each month.
Lisa: Don’t wait until your child is out on their own to teach them about money. Start early. Give them an active role in managing their account and train them while still under your roof.
For more savings tips and other financial articles, go to RCBbank.com/GetFit