Becoming a teen is a time full of exciting events, including starting high school, driving, earning an extended curfew, and opening your first checking account. But with these new freedoms comes new responsibilities; keep reading to learn about how to effectively manage a checking account.
- Write Out Your Expenditures
Your parents probably bank online, but while you’re learning, it’s best to keep a written record of your spending. When you apply for your first checking account, you’ll be given a handheld ledger where you can keep track of what you spend and your balance. Get in the habit of writing down what you spend within a few hours and calculating your new balance. This will keep you from overdrawing your new checking account, saving you money in overdraft fees.
- Check Your Account Every Day
Get in the habit of checking your account before you leave the house each day. You want to begin each day with a clear understanding of the amount of money you have so you don’t overspend.
There is a certain amount of financial freedom that comes with opening your first checking account. If you can’t afford to go to the movies, you’ll only have yourself and all the soda you purchased last week to blame. Consider setting a budget or weekly limit on what you can spend. This way, you can save up for that new video game you want or that new pair of shoes your parents refuse to buy.
- Consider Opening a Savings Account
If you want to save up for your senior trip, first car, or college tuition, you’ll need to have money saved. Open a savings account and get in the habit of saving 10 percent of the money you earn from your job or allowance.
If your teen is ready for his or her first checking and saving accounts, visit GCS Federal Credit Union today. We enjoy working with families and helping young people learn how to be responsible with their finances. To learn more about our service, call us at (618) 797-7993.