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What tools are online to help my teen manage his bank account?
Teaching kids to manage money using technology is an important life skill – more than half of Americans do their banking online and one third use mobile devices to manage their bank accounts. Many banks today encourage members to use online banking and mobile tools to make transactions and manage accounts.
Most banks require bank members to be at least 16 years old before they receive a checking account, and online banking can be a great tool for mature teens who have an income and are setting goals, such as saving for a computer or a school trip.
You and your teen can start by meeting with a bank representative to talk about how the bank’s online account access works and inquire about accounts with limited penalties that don’t require a minimum balance. Reinforce the importance of responsible behavior and trust, and add your name to the account so you can monitor transactions.
Then, help your teen set up a budget and talk regularly about weekly spending habits. Check out online resources such as The Mint (themint.org) or CashCourse (cashcourse.org) that offer guidance for teens on spending and saving money.
Then, take a look at these free apps that use personal banking information to help users track cash and plan their spending.
Mint.com. This app is free and allows you to consolidate all financial accounts – bank accounts, student loans and credit cards – to sync and update at the touch of a button. Teens can set up a budget and see colorful charts that coincide with spending patterns and trends. (mint.com, iPhone and Android)
Level Money. With super simple visuals, this app is a great step into budget awareness and management. Set up a budget and see how much you have to spend to stay on track, along with the balances in your accounts. (levelmoney.com, iPhone and Android)
Budge It. This handy app helps you build a budget by keeping track of common expenses instead of requiring that you log them in. A monthly summary gives you a snapshot of your finance habits along with a plan for moving forward. (budgeit.me, iPhone)
Money strands. Perfect for the visual learner, this app features a pie chart that tracks spending and allows users to filter categories, plan for expenses and alert the user about budget behavior. (money.strands.com, iPhone)