Kids holding savings jars.

Learning about finances and getting a grasp on one’s own personal finances from an early age can make all the difference for an individual in the long run. When teens have the opportunity to take their finances into their own hands, they gain a deeper appreciation of their capacity as young adults. They’re empowered to make the (sometimes) harder choices that support their long-term goals, particularly when it comes to financial well-being. Experiential learning in this capacity can create an active, financially aware individual. A teen savings account can be one of the first steps to securing a strong financial future, and the benefits can last even longer. Below are five benefits of teen savings and checking accounts. Rivermark is here to answer any questions you (or your teen) may have along the way.


Number one on the list of benefits has to be independence. Teens often express their desire to “grow up” quicker, and in opening a personal checking or savings account, they’re entrusted to keep tabs on their own funds. There’s no more begging or pleading for money. This is particularly true for individuals who hold a part-time job. The money that’s earned through old-fashioned hard work somehow equates to more in a teen’s mind. It’s money they earned, and therefore, a bit more thought on how it’s spent seems to happen.

When someone earns their own money, they tend to be more attuned to how it leaves their account too. Having the ability to budget, reference previous spending, and gain insights into where they can curb their spending has the potential to equate to a solid understanding that their financial future lies directly with the choices they’re making now.

The Can-Dos with a Checking Account

Let’s be honest: life without a checking account can be, at best, a bother. Access to accounts online or through mobile banking opens up a new world of ease. Teens, particularly those with jobs and a record of making good choices, can benefit from all the perks of having a checking account, including online shopping, paying bills online (cell phone bills, anyone?), and having the capacity to make choices about their individual spending habits.

Next, let's delve into the subject of opening a savings account. While the ease of having a deposit account is wonderful, there’s no point in working for years in order just to spend, spend, spend. With both a savings and a checking account, teens have the chance to learn how to balance their savings and spending.

Saving for a Not-so-Rainy Day

Willpower isn’t necessarily a bright-and-shining word of praise, but it can offer an individual something particularly nice in the long run. We all wish we had more in our savings accounts—and we can, too, through a dedicated and intentional savings allocation. Saving an established portion or percentage of the money earned over time (or per paycheck) can lead to massive short- and long-term rewards.

Teens who can earn self-incentives, such as understanding that 15% into savings leads to 15% for pleasure spending later, will learn valuable habits of both consistent and moderate spending in conjunction with financial responsibility. Good savings habits will allow teens to learn to save, research investments, and think about retirement.

Learning Financial Literacy

Not everyone grows up in a family where money is openly talked (or taught) about, so when teens have their own money in their own accounts, things seem to be taken more seriously. Beyond the ease of automatic payments for bills like cell phones or memberships, teens can learn how to make their money work for them. Whether it’s a certificate of deposit (CD) or another account, such as a money market deposit account, your teen will deepen their banking relationship with the institute that walks with them to financial literacy.

Building a strong financial base and the financial literacy to go along with it can, in time, have an astounding return on investment, one that even goes beyond the monetary figures. In having a solid grasp of the banking and financial sectors, your teen will be enabled to take full control of their financial future and even pass on some of the acquired learning to friends or family down the line.

Developing a Personal Banking Relationship

There are other benefits to holding accounts at a credit union where you develop a relationship with financial professionals. To start, you can better utilize some of the services they offer. Credit unions offer much more than just a place to keep your savings and checking accounts. They offer services like auto and home loans, budgeting basics, debt consolidation services, and as we mentioned, a financial education, among other things.

Knowing your financial specialists is like having your own financial cheerleaders. They cheer you on while the going is good and help lift your spirits should you slip up. They get to know you and your spending habits and are able to develop ways to assist you beyond just verifying a deposit. You become more than just an account number, and they become more than just a dressed-up individual whose name tag you glance at to recall their name. They’ll have your best interests at heart and be able to communicate clearly and honestly about services that may pertain to you.

There are benefits that extend well beyond the few mentioned here, and your local representatives at Rivermark are there to answer any questions about the services we offer. We can also help your teen set up a new checking or savings account. Let your money work for you and your family in the best ways it can, and let us help you navigate your path to personal financial security.

Young woman with a debit card


What Are the Advantages of a Free Debit Card for Teen Checking Accounts?

It’s never too early to teach your kids the importance of financial responsibility. When they’re young, it could be as simple as providing them with an allowance so they can learn how to save some, spend some, and perhaps even give some to a worthy cause. But as your child grows older and enters the teen years, they’ll need to learn more about budgeting and money management principles. One of the best ways to do that is to open a checking account with a linked debit card.

Rivermark offers a free debit card and checking for teens. It’s simple to enroll and user-friendly as well, even for teens with little banking experience. That’s because we believe in the importance of financial education for youth and want to make that knowledge as accessible as possible. Here are some of the other reasons you’ll want to take advantage of our free debit card for teen checking accounts.

It Pays to Bank with Us

It literally pays to bank with Rivermark. We offer a very high interest rate on our checking and savings accounts. That includes our youth accounts as well.

When you open a Rivermark Free Checking Plus account, you can earn up to 3.00% APY on balances up to $15,000*. That incredibly competitive rate will help your teen’s money grow over time. They will quickly learn the value of compound interest.

Your teen will also learn the value of having an account with a credit union like ours. Rivermark’s high-interest rates on checking and savings accounts and low-interest rates on loans, including student loans, will help your teen stretch that hard-earned money of theirs.

Little Risk Involved

We know what you’re thinking. But wait—my teen is a novice when it comes to having their own account. What if my child mishandles their finances? What if there are overdraft fees and I wind up having to pay for it?

Not so fast. Rivermark has you and your teen covered. We understand that even the best of us make mistakes sometimes. That’s why we offer overdraft protection for your teen’s checking account. By linking the account to a savings account with a safety cushion, you’ll be covered in the event that your teen makes a mistake and overdraws on the account. The difference will simply be transferred from the savings account into the checking account with no fees assessed.

Speaking of fees, our checking account has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. We have truly designed this account to help your teen understand basic money concepts like budgeting and saving. We also offer up to $12 per month in ATM fee refunds. That means your teen can enjoy all the advantages of our youth checking account without the fees often associated with similar accounts.

Provides the Complete Experience

In addition to providing a free debit card for teens, our youth checking account also offers a complete online and mobile experience. Your teen will not only get experience using a debit card for purchases but learn how to navigate their account online as well.

Your teenager will be able to monitor their spending by checking online statements and viewing monthly transactions. If your teen has questions or needs some extra assistance navigating the online or mobile system, we’ll be here to help with excellent customer service and a variety of helpful resources. Starting this process early on will give your teenager time to learn what they need to know to be able to manage accounts and money on their own.

The value of having your own account at an early age cannot be understated. There’s so much to learn about finances and how money works that it’s important to start as early as possible. Our Go Money for Teen accounts are designed for teens in the 13- to 17-year-old age range.

In addition to offering our teen checking accounts, we also have savings and money market accounts available. Teens will be able to familiarize themselves with how multiple types of accounts work before heading off to college on their own.

The best time to learn money principles is when you’re young. You can learn from your mistakes as you prepare to be financially independent for the first time. Rivermark is the perfect place to grow in your knowledge of finances while watching your money grow at the same time.