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Smart Financial Habits for Youth

As we celebrate Teach Children to Save Day on April 25, First Keystone Community Bank recognizes the importance of teaching youth smart financial habits. This month, we are celebrating the first anniversary of our Keystone First Checking Account which introduces our youngest customers to the aspects of good fiscal management including budgeting, saving, and even financial planning. Learning to make smart financial decisions now can set your children up for success in the future.

What is Teach Children to Save Day?

Sponsored by the American Bankers Association since 1997, Teach Children to Save Day partners volunteers and parents to teach kids the benefits of forming smart financial habits. It’s simple–if kids develop the habit of saving money at an early age, they build a foundation of saving for a lifetime. In addition, strong money management skills help prepare children for the real world by securing their future as they transition to adulthood.

At what age should I start teaching my child about smart financial habits?

It’s never too soon to start the learning process. Teaching kids the value of money at an earlier age can start with their first piggy bank. Once it’s filled, help them open their first bank account. Initiate conversations about the difference between wants and needs and demonstrate how saving money helps you cover your needs which leads to buying what you want. Help them correlate the cost and value of their purchases to determine essentials from amenities.

Adding the concept of chores and responsibilities can provide valuable experience in developing a strong work ethic, paying bills, and saving money. As children get older, introduce the elements of personal finance management to connect financial planning with the real world.

What’s the best way to get a teen started?

The best time to introduce banking and financial planning to a teenager is when they procure their first job. Managing money is crucial to success throughout their career, so coupling the new job with a new bank account and debit card will cement those first big responsibilities and associate earning money with financial responsibility. A new account is a great way to learn the value of balancing saving and spending.

What kind of first account should a teen open?

When selecting a first checking or savings account for a teen, there are many features to consider. Items to consider include minimum balance requirements, mobile banking features, and interest rates, along with any fees associated with a specific account, such as inactivity or ATM fees. For example, First Keystone Community Bank offers a checking account specially designed for students and young adults ages 13 to 17 called the Keystone First Checking Account. This account has special features that provide the tools to monitor spending by using the convenient features of mobile and online banking.

What is the Keystone First Checking Account?

Because we want to set the next generation up for success, our Keystone First Checking Account also gives kids access to their first debit card as a way to instill smart financial habits now that will help set them up for financial management in the future. To monitor spending and establish limits, a parent or guardian must be on the account. It’s important for adults to determine their child’s needs and expectations.

What are the features of an account like Keystone First?

Parents can:

  • Easily monitor their child’s account activity using the mobile app.
  • Transfer money from their account to the child’s account for allowance or field trips.
  • Set limits and restrictions so they know where the child’s debit card will function.
  • Receive alerts to know when the child’s card is used.
  • Teach their children how to responsibly use a checking account and debit card.

Kids can:

  • Use a VISA debit card for purchases online or in-store.
  • Use an ATM to withdraw cash.
  • Learn the importance of smart financial habits at a younger age.
  • Track their account activity through online banking.

How does technology affect today’s banking?

Technology has made today’s banking much more convenient and relatable for young users with the introduction of mobile banking apps that perform many banking tasks using smartphones or tablets. Everyday activities like checking account balances and transferring funds between accounts can now be done on a phone, along with more advanced features like paying bills and tracking spending.

While technology has made banking much more convenient, banking on a mobile device requires diligence in order to protect your personal information–a valuable lesson for young people to absorb. Proactive security measures include creating strong passwords, avoiding public Wi-Fi networks, and never saving passwords in your browser.

For more information on our Keystone First Checking Account, contact First Keystone Community Bank at 570-752-3671 or visit

Written by Frances Seward

Frances is a Vice President of First Keystone Community Bank and the Regional Branch Administrator for Columbia/Montour counties.

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Posted On:

April 17, 2024

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