Banking tips for teens

After earning an allowance from your parents each week for years, it may be time to open your own checking account.

During the summer, you might want to pick up a part-time job so you can have some extra cash to spend time with friends or, if you're on your way to college, purchase a few items for your dorm. Whatever the reason, having your own bank account is a great way to start effective financial management habits.

Here are some banking tips to get your started:

Open accounts
After landing a job, you'll need a way to cash your checks. While there are many businesses that can do this, they usually charge a fee. Instead, open a savings account and a checking account.

With our Better Free Checking option, you don't have to pay a monthly service charge and are only required to include a minimum deposit of $50 or set up direct deposit. Other perks include a free Visa debit card, free access to Internet Banking, a free box of checks and overdraft protection up to $800. These benefits are useful if you're only working part time and don't expect to have a large balance.

For saving, we offer two choices that could be suitable for you. If you're younger than 18 and your parents have a Landmark checking account with check card or real estate loans, you can get a savings account through our Kids Club program. It offers competitive interest rates, invitations to special annual events and other advantages. If you're a little older and ready to establish more financial independence, open one of our personal savings accounts. The minimum deposit is only $10 if you're younger than 18, or $100 if you're older. Plus, minors aren't required to pay a service charge.

Keep track of your balances
Once you have your accounts in order, make sure that you check your balances often. After swiping your debit card at the mall a few times, it can be easy to forget how much is left in your checking account. You can use our Mobile Banking app to receive account alerts on your smartphone, including a notification if you spend more than a set amount or are about to reach a certain balance threshold. You can also check your financial information on our Internet Banking site, where you can set up regular transfers to your savings account.

Set goals and start good habits
If you start working toward financial stability at a young age, you can carry those habits into adulthood when you're faced with larger responsibilities, such as home or auto loans. Indeed, in the coming years, there could be many big purchases, including tuition deposits, car down payments and first-apartment security deposits. To prepare for these and other costs, set regular savings goals. Let's say you want to purchase a used car to commute to college. One way to achieve this objective is to create automatic deposits from your checking to your savings account.

To expand your savings potential and better manage your funds, set limits for your accounts. One way to put this into practice is to create a budget. If, for example, you're earning $500 every two weeks, capping the amount of your check that can be spent for entertainment and clothing can help you avoid overdrafting your account.

You can speak with your parents and one of our bankers for help with determining these goals and limits.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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