November 14th was a great day. It was “Take Your Kid to Work Day” and I had so much fun sharing my day with my 14-year old daughter Maxime. We started the day out exploring the difference between credit unions and banks as well as talking about how banks and credit unions make money – “What Dad? I thought you just left your money in the bank and that was it”!. Then I put her to work. I gave Max a list of banks and credit unions to research and by the end of the day write an article about what she thought the “Ultimate Teen Bank Account” would be like. Max got right to work and did a great job. She actually found an interesting youth savings bonus program at ANZ!
Check out her article below! Very proud of Max!
Maxime MacInnes-Cann, Grade 9, November 14, 2018
Hello! My name is Max, and I am a student attending New Westminster Secondary School. Today is ‘Take Your Kid To Work’ day where ninth grade students are given the opportunity to go with an adult to work with them,. I went to work with my dad, and I learned about banks, credit unions and bank accounts. My dad then gave me a little research project on the Ultimate Teen/Youth bank account, and gave me list of banks and credit unions to look at for youth accounts. Out of the sixteen different banks and credit unions, only ten had accounts for youth, or at least ten that I could find. I think all banks or credit unions should have accounts for youth, and they should be easy to find on their websites.
Banking for youth is important because it teaches kids and teens about money management and saving, and helps them create positive habits for the future, so they can be financially stable when they potentially start a family, buy a house, or have to responsibly pay back a loan. Also, if the youth that uses your account likes your company, they might continue using it as adults.
As a teen, things I want in an account are pretty simple: easy to understand, easy to use, easily accessible, online banking where I can see my balances etc., online transfers, not having to pay monthly fees, appealing interest rates, ATM access and finally debit card use. I think other teens would want these same things as well, except for the fact that most of them probably don’t have enough knowledge about banks and credit unions. A lot of them have probably never even heard of a credit union! Somebody could fix this problem with presentations or products specifically for youth.
Another problem I discovered during my research is that youth accounts were very hard to find on certain websites. Those six banks that didn’t have youth-based products and accounts could’ve had them, and I just couldn’t find them on their websites. A few of the websites were also very hard to use, and to find anything at all on them. Please update your websites so people like me can navigate them easier!
Now onto the best youth chequing accounts I found in my research! One of the best youth accounts I found was at Westminster Savings. If you open a ‘junior account package’ with them, you get a chequing account, and a savings account, each with ten dollars already in them. Westminster Savings states on their website that giving is a valuable lesson, so Westminster Savings also donates ten dollars to ‘charities that help give kids in our community greater access to arts and active living.’ You also get a little kit with some gifts in it, including art supplies and goggles. I think this is really awesome of them, and is a great way for kids to learn about money. When I was a young kid, I had a system like this. I had three jars, Spend, Save, and Give. I still have these jars and I use them all the time. It really helped me understand money, how to save it and spend it responsibly. I think this is a great idea for anyone who doesn’t want to open a bank account but still wants to manage their money!
A few more chequing accounts I liked are:
- KBC Belgium, they plant a tree for every youth account opened (in an article from 2012, this may not be a relevant thing),
- Envision, no fees and 50 free transactions a month and their website was very easy to understand because it was very clearly written,
- Servus, 60 free transactions a month, no fees, free transfers to other accounts in Servus and 2 free Interac e-Transfers,
- TD, unlimited transactions, no fees, daily interest.
A lot of these also had savings account options along with the chequing account.
I found that a few banks or credit unions had only youth savings account options, but not chequing.
- ANZ in Australia has a 2.40% interest rate (0.01% normally, but 2.39% extra if you make at least one deposit of $10 each month and don’t make any withdrawals),
- RBC Leo’s Young Savers Account, you receive 25$ when you open an account with them.
I learned a lot today, and I hope that I helped you, too. I think banks and credit unions should definitely provide youth chequing and savings accounts, and should encourage youth to learn more about it. Also, banks and credit unions really need to make things easier to find on their websites (like their new youth accounts!)
Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!