Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Teens and Money

We went to the bank this afternoon and set up a checking account and a savings account for Beth. Our bank offers what is called a High School account - no minimum balance required because the account is linked with the parents' account. I wasn't seriously thinking about setting up the accounts until the day Cory left for Boston. He was going away from home with a wallet full of cash, and it occurred to me that it would have been nice for him to have a debit card to use. Too late for that - and the minimum age for this High School checking account is 15, so he wouldn't have qualified anyway. Next trip...

Beth is planning to get a job soon, so having a checking account will be good. Once she finds that job, she can sign up for Direct Deposit so she can get her paychecks put right into her account. That way she won't have to worry about picking up her checks or getting to the bank to cash them. Even if she doesn't do the Direct Deposit thing, she will at least be able to cash paychecks without needing one of us and our account. Besides that, it will make it easier to give her money if we don't happen to have cash on hand. That doesn't mean she just gets money any time she want some - whatever she may believe. It will be good for her to learn to keep track of the money in her account - something she needs to know how to do.

Also this week I got her a Discover card - this one for putting gas in the car only. I think she'll do ok with that. She is very adamant about not using credit cards - ever. Good for her. I hope she sticks to that. Getting into credit card debt is a very bad thing. The Discover card? Just convenience, so we don't have to be sure she has the cash with her, and we get a 5% cashback bonus on gas purchases. I always pay that off every month.