3 Ways to Help Your Kids Build Better Money Habits

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By nbkc bank

Encouraging financial literacy among young people is a great way to foster their sense of financial independence and instill smart financial habits. But when is the right time to get started? How do you keep it simple and engaging?

We’ve put together three ways to educate and encourage your kids as they enter their money management journey.

Old habits die hard

While it’s true anyone can increase their financial literacy at any age, lifelong money habits are established early in life.

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to incorporating good money habits at a young age:


  • Establishes good personal finance habits.
  • Develops a wise approach to money management.
  • Dodge money mistakes that make it difficult to manage your finances.
  • Build savings over time to prepare for ‘rainy days’, emergencies, and other life events.


  • Changing bad money habits that have developed over many years can be difficult.
  • Debt is a slippery slope, and poor money management can lead to feeling trapped.
  • Without proper financial literacy, it’s harder to avoid the trap of high-interest debt.
  • Maintaining a budget can feel overwhelming, possibly rebounding to overspending.

Nearly 40% of kids between the ages of eight and fourteen have a savings account, and close to 50% of teenagers are opening accounts. As mobile banking continues to grow, along with the ease of opening an account, taking steps to raise money-savvy kids is to their advantage.

Start with the basics

Without realizing it, the very basics of money management starts as early as preschool with learning to count. Then, when addition and subtraction lessons get introduced in K-5, parents can start tying these lessons to conversations about money.

From there, you’ve got a solid foundation to build good money habits upon.

When should you open your kid’s first checking account?

Age aside, the right time to open a checking account for your child is as soon as they start earning money on a regular basis. This could be from their first job, the money they get in birthday cards, or for mowing the neighbor’s lawn. If they’re under the age of 18, the account will be a joint account with your child as the primary owner. This gives both of you the ability to make deposits, withdrawals, and access online banking for full visibility of the account.

When should you open your kid’s first savings account?

While opening their checking account, you might as well discuss opening a savings account at the same time. By opening both accounts at the same time, you can help them establish the habit of putting some money away every time there’s a deposit in their checking account. Even better, when you select a savings account that compounds interest over time, your kids will reap the benefits in the future.

What should parents look for in an account?

If you’re helping your kid pick their first bank account, here are a few features to keep an eye out for:

  • Build custom savings goals.

    Say there’s a new gaming console or event your child would like to attend, an account like the nbkc Everything Account makes it easy for them to create specific savings goals separate from their checking. They can easily transfer money to their goals and keep track of their progress all from our app.

  • Track spending habits.

    The beauty of tracking your spending habits is knowing where your money is going, and just how much. By opening a checking account that does this for you, like the nbkc Everything Account, you and your child can walk through their spending habits together and discuss opportunities to improve them.

  • Simple mobile app.

    No need to further complicate things here. A simple mobile app that gives you and your child 24/7 access to their checking balance makes it even easier to monitor spending behavior, and develop savvy money management skills.

  • High-yield savings.

    Money management teaches your kids how to work with their money, but a high-yield savings account teaches them how to make their money work for them.

How to build good money habits

So, you’ve helped your kid open their checking and savings account, but what’s next?

Here are three ways to involve your children in financial literacy activities:

  • Set goals.

    Encouraging your kids to set savings goals serves multiple purposes in their financial journey. Not only does it strengthen their budgeting skills, but it also serves as a motivating force – wise budgeting habits lead to rewards.

  • Build their confidence

    Encouraging children to earn their own money can help them develop a stronger understanding of its value, and build their confidence to be a good steward of the money they worked so hard to earn.

  • Do as you say, say as you do.

    Lastly, setting a positive example can go a long way. When adults normalize budgeting over impulse buying or routinely tracking expenses to look for opportunities to save, kids have a blueprint to follow.

Ready to get the ball rolling?

We believe that everyone deserves to feel in control of their finances, and that’s why we keep things simple.

From opening for your first checking account to applying for your first credit card, nbkc is along for the ride. Get in touch with us by calling 888-905-2165, or send us a chat anytime between 8am and 7pm CST, Monday through Friday, by clicking the chat icon on the bottom of your screen. Get started with the nbkc Everything Account today.