Give Children and Grandchildren the Gift of a Lifetime
As soon as the countdown to the holiday gift-giving season begins, so does the quest to find the perfect gift for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew. You can go for the everybody-has-to-have-it type of gift. You can aim for something that will stand out. And ideally, you deliver a gift with staying power, something the child will use for years to come.
What if you could give a gift that does all of the above? It’s possible if you think a bit outside the box.
One of the most valuable, practical and long-lasting gifts you can give a child or grandchild is a head start in building a solid financial foundation. The gift of a youth savings or checking account is a good fit at any age, opening the door to important conversations and lessons about saving, spending and investing.
More than money
By tying the opening of a savings or checking account to a child’s holiday gift, it automatically becomes a significant event. And when you contribute a starter amount to the new account, the gift has instant value that will help the child imagine saving to buy a special toy or fund their college education. But this type of gift is about more than money.
With the money habits that guide financial decisions in adulthood formed as early as age 7, it’s never too early to start teaching kids about money1. Starting in preschool and continuing well into young adulthood, parents and grandparents are the primary influence on a child’s attitudes about money and overall financial literacy. Like anything, the best learning comes from first-hand experience.
- Money basics: Preschoolers are ready to learn basic concepts about money, such as the difference between “needs” and “wants” and how to save so you’re able to buy something you want.
- Savings: Beginning around age 5, kids can learn valuable lessons about money by earning a weekly allowance in exchange for doing simple chores. They’ll learn the value of saving by depositing a portion of their allowance in their Arizona Federal Youth Savings Account. With $0 opening deposit requirements, no monthly service fees, and free mobile and online access, Arizona Federal makes getting started easy. (And enrollment in exclusive Paw Squad and Club Rising clubs provide extra perks!)
- Budgeting and planning: During the tween years, children continue to build their financial literacy by budgeting and saving for things they need and want, and celebrating their achievements as they reach their saving goals along the way.
- Spending: As teenagers have new opportunities to work and earn money, they’re ready for additional tools, including a Teen Checking Plus Account at Arizona Federal. Along with the ability to make ATM withdrawals and deposits, the Teen Checking Account provides practical access to their money through a Visa debit card that can also enable digital payments through Venmo, Paypal, Square Cash, Apple Pay or Google Pay. And if they need to write the occasional check, they can do that too – you can teach them how!
- Credit: Understanding how credit cards work and the importance of a good credit score is crucial as kids head into young adulthood. Arizona Federal offers a secured Visa® credit card tied to the deposits in the child’s Arizona Federal accounts to help build a credit rating while ensuring they don’t spend more than they can afford.
Along the way, you may discover that financial education is a two-way street, as your financially savvy kid helps you navigate the evolving technology of digital banking, including mobile payments, mobile wallets and person-to-person payments.
A present for the future
Arizona Federal can help you wrap up a gift of a lifetime for your child or grandchild, whether it’s for the holidays, birthdays or other milestone events.
Our Youth Savings, Teen Checking and Young Adult Accounts are designed to support your child’s financial journey every step of the way. To learn more and open an account for your child or grandchild, make an appointment to visit your Arizona Federal branch.
Plus, for a step-by-step guide to teaching your kids about money, check out Arizona Federal’s Money Talks Guides for Parents and Grandparents, along with a Money Milestones Map to track their progress from preschool through young adulthood.
1 “Habit Formation and Learning in Young Children,” Cambridge University, 2013.