Bank: No Adults Allowed

The Bank for Kids

Bank: No Adults Allowed
January 15, 2016

Like every parent, you want to help your children learn proper money management habits. A good foundation in sound fiscal principles can help your children prosper throughout their lives.

The best way to teach fiscal responsibility to your son or daughter is to start a bank account in their name and let them manage their own money. Each child can directly experience the benefits of good money management and spending habits — as well as the consequences of poor ones. Your bank may be willing to help and allow you to open an account for your child, but the account will have plenty of strings attached and does not necessarily focus on your goal of teaching fiscal responsibility.

Teaching Your Kids How to Bank and Save

Colorado residents have an interesting alternative that could be considered the "Bank for Kids." According to their website, Young Americans (YA) Bank in Denver is "the only bank in the entire world specifically designed for young people aged 21 and younger." Your kids may think of it as the banking equivalent of the backyard tree house fortress with the huge sign saying "No Parents Allowed." You may think of it as a novel and fun way to teach your children banking and fiscal principles with the support of banking staff.

YA Bank is part of the Young Americans Center for Financial Education and is integrated with a group of non-profit programs designed to help kids learn about financial principles, business and economics, and what it takes to achieve financial self-sufficiency.

Through these non-profit affiliates, YA Bank offers money matters classes, summer camps, and other programs to make financial learning fun and empowering. Entrepreneurial camps help motivate youth on the path to understanding how to start and operate a successful business. YA Bank even has a youth advisory board where it's possible to have greater input on the bank's operations.

Don't get the impression that YA bank is a gimmick. It's a real FDIC-insured bank that offers not only savings and checking accounts, but also CDs, credit/debit/ATM cards, internet banking services, and even loans. CDs are available with a minimum deposit of $100 and savings accounts can be established with a deposit from as low as $5.

Financial Preparation for Young Entrepreneurs

As with any bank, you must still have a co-signer for a loan if you are under eighteen or have no credit history. Loans can be for personal expenses or business purposes. Young entrepreneurs can learn about the preparation it takes to get a business loan — how to prepare a business plan, determine the amount of money to ask for, and how to make a convincing argument to a loan officer that you are capable of paying back the loan through creating a successful business.

Funding primarily comes through a legacy foundation created by the bank's founder, Bill Daniels, along with donations from bank supporters. There are some fees that are collected from the individual programs, but those fees are designated to cover operating costs for the programs. YA Bank is a for-profit entity but intentionally does not make a profit, pouring funds back into the programs instead.

In essence, YA Bank's basic products are the same as you can get at your own bank, but the emphasis and orientation gives kids a sense of empowerment. The support services and youth programs are hard to beat. As YA says to kids on their website, "You might even be able to teach your parents a thing or two after banking here!" They may be right.

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Sarah | 01.15.16 @ 18:03
This is a really interesting idea. I have stressed for a while that education is so important when it comes to finances and here is a banking option with that emphasis!
Alec | 01.15.16 @ 18:04
This is an absolutely amazing idea! It needs to be expanded outside of the state, if it hasn't been already. I would definitely allow my child to sign up for an account and possibly go to some of the classes when she's older. Too many people have money managing issues nowadays. This would be perfect for the younger generation to learn!
Erin | 01.15.16 @ 18:04
That's an interesting concept, but as long as you have good people working there, any bank can give kids a sense of empowerment. If it works for them though, go for it.
Daniel | 01.15.16 @ 18:05
Very interesting idea .. but great. Help kids learn as they grow about money and savings
Elaine | 01.15.16 @ 18:06
Education is important especially when it come to handling money at a young age. Great ideas to help them start.
Carla | 01.15.16 @ 18:06
I am all for opening a child a bank account but with an adult as cosigner. I don't think it is good to let them run it on their own. That leaves room for too many mistakes.
Beverly | 01.15.16 @ 18:07
This is a great article!!! It is never too early to learn proper money management!!
Chrisitna | 01.15.16 @ 18:07
What a great way to get kids interested in learning about money, savings and gain financial smarts! Impressed :)
trish | 01.15.16 @ 18:08
They offer Bank at School for my son. Its a great thing. Promotes saving, and they learn a great deal while doing it.
joann | 01.15.16 @ 18:09
That is a great teaching tool for kids. I like the idea that it is a real bank not just pretend, that gives kids the tools to be successful as they get older,
Steffanie | 01.15.16 @ 18:35
This is a great way to teach kids about saving money for their future. I think my kids would love it.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 11.24.20 @ 06:02