Did you catch Bitsy with this week's quick tip on financial planning? Money management is something that frequently falls into the "too hard" basket for a lot of people. Being taught how to handle money at a young age can really help in being able to stay on top of your finances. Here are three bank accounts designed especially for kids and teens, along with interactive online games, to teach them about money and saving. Check them out and start saving!
Young Americans Bank: Founded in 1987, this is the only bank in the world specifically designed for young people aged 21 years or younger. How awesome is that - a bank just for kids! Services include savings and checking accounts, credit cards, and even loans. It takes $5 to open a savings account, and $10 to open a checking account (both with an adult co-signer). The ATM card has no annual fee, and you can make two free withdrawals a month. The credit card also has no annual fee, and has a $100 maximum limit. There is only one brick and mortar location in Denver, Colorado, but out of state customers can make deposits by mail. Part of the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, there are Saturday personal finance classes aimed at kids, summer camps, and a ton of resources on the website, including Concept of the Month, which, in September, is Savvy Saving.
Money Island: Developed by Young American Bank, Money Island is a virtual world that makes learning about money and financial planning fun. Kids visit destinations like the Eiffel Tower and Atlantis in their quest to save the character Stone Broke, while learning real-life principles of financial responsibility. The curriculum builds skills in three basic areas: Saving & Spending, Earning & Investing, and Using Credit Wisely. There is also a Parents & Teachers section, which provides detailed lesson plans and sample activities. In addition, an administrator tool (that the kids can't see), allows adults to see exactly what the students learn, and to track their progress. Kids with a Young Americans account are able to redeem a $5 reward on completion of the game.
ING Direct Orange4Kids Savings Account: ING Direct offer a kid-friendly bank account that teaches kids how to save their money in a safe and responsible way. There are no fees, no minimums and the money is FDIC-insured. Kids are able to check their balance, change their personal info and PIN, and download their account history, tax forms and eStatements. Adults signing in with their own customer number or saver ID can do all of the above, as well as transfer money, set up an automatic savings plan (such transferring the child's allowance to the account) and manage account details.
Planet Orange: It’s a new planet in the deepest reaches of outer space that helps kids, from 1st to 6th grade, learn about earning, spending, saving and investing. Amy and Cedric act as tour guides across four imaginary continents - Mandarin Mountains, Tangy Town, Navel City and Orangeopolis. Kids get to earn Obucks (imaginary money), and spend it at the home base space station. There is a Teachers Resource Center with lesson plans and activity books, and a Parent Center with detailed information on how the game works.
Wells Fargo Teen Checking: Designed for teens aged 13 - 17, it takes $100 to open an account (with an adult co-signer). There is no monthly service fee, and teens are issued a Visa debit card. Parents can set daily purchase and ATM withdrawal limits, and there is optional overdraft protection. Teens have 24/7 online access to their account to check balance and account activity, while parents can transfer money to and from the account. More and more banks are offering teen checking options, check out Nerd Wallet's great blog post for more info here.
Hands On Banking: Wells Fargo have four different age groups for this money management program - kids, teens, young adults, and adults. Angie and Alex are the tour guides for the teen version, with lessons such as You and Your Money, Budgeting, Savings and Checking Guide, Credit and You, and Smart Investing. There is an assessment at the end of the lesson sections that tests your knowledge.
Did you have a saving or checking account when you were a kid? Do your kids have one now? Tell us your story in the comment section below!