The wolf of gum street: my first savings account.

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I sat in the last school bus seat with what felt like an empire. It was organized delicately in a bubble top pencil box. At this point, I didn’t have to do anything but sit back and let the money speak for itself. At this point, I had a 5th grader executing all of the transactions. Preteens handed over small bills and carefully counted coins. Gum was not allowed on the bus nor in school, but for five whole weeks I dominated the market. I was the 6th grade wolf of gum street. Only, I managed to evade the authorities and opened up my first bank account with $90.

So how old should my child be?

At 11 years old, $90 felt like a million dollars. And I myself felt like a millions dollars opening up my very own savings account with my very own ATM card. So, aside from your kid coming to you with their bubble gum fortune, how do you know when it’s time to open up that first account? In an article called “Opening Your Child’s First Bank account,” NerdWallet author Spencer Tierney, offers Parents some helpful tips. Tierney writes, “See how often your child saves money at home first. If he saves a bit or has enough that you don’t want him to lose it, then it’s time to get him an account.” If your kids are younger than 5, a piggy bank can demonstrate the same functions of a savings account and will save you a trip to your local banking branch. Tierney has some useful information regarding the types of accounts you should be considering.

Maggie Marton, a contributor for the popular women’s lifestyle blog and media platform, She Knows has some other bench marks for when to open an account for your kids. Marton writes, “When your child starts to understand how money works, it’s time to open a bank account”. Marton continues to explain this happens right around 8 years old, though parents can kickstart this understanding using simplified lessons. Marton also points out that many banks are willing to set appointments with their pint size patrons to teach them how the bank and their savings account works. I certainly remember my appointment and felt really special to have someone take the time before I took my first steps into banking. (You can check out the full article from SheKnows here)

So how old were you when you had your first bank account? Send any stories or replies to

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