Setting up a savings account is an important step in teaching your child financial responsibility.We broached the topic after deciding to set up an allowance system for our child (which I will cover in an upcoming blog post). The savings account will be used for our son to save up part of his allowance for special purchases.
With a little bit of research online and a few phone calls we learned that two of the best bank account options for our five-year-old here in Canada are:
Wherever you are, look for a no fee account with unlimited transactions (or at least several free transactions) that are suitable for children and includes a passbook. The passbook is important so the child will be able to bring it with him or her to the bank to make transactions and keep track of their balance. The experience of going to the teller and handing him/her the cash for the savings account will have much more meaning than using a bank machine or online banking.
For our son’s saving account, we chose the Scotiabank Getting There Savings account for kids. For those who are considering setting up a kids account, it definitely made it simpler that we already do business with that bank ourselves so we didn’t have to fill out a bunch of extra paperwork.
We set up an appointment ahead of time with an adviser and visited the bank with our son and a couple years worth of coins and bills that had been accumulating in his piggy bank.
The items you will need to bring to the appointment include:
- Two pieces of ID for each adult who will be a signatory on the account
- A birth certificate and SIN for you child
As you can see, it was a very serious occasion:
If we had one bit of advice for Scotiabank it would be to provide a stool for the younger clients so they can see what is going on above the counter instead of hugging the counter while balancing on an uncomfortable parental unit.
In hindsight, I think we probably could have waited another year or two to set up the account and just use a piggy bank until he gets a bit older. However, what I did like about our visit to the bank is that it turned out to be a fun positive experience. Now if we train him right, maybe – just maybe – he’ll become a financial genius and look after us for the rest of our lives! Just kidding! But, hopefully it was one small step towards raising a financially responsible young man…<