Bank accounts allow account holders to:

  • Protect
  • Maintain
  • Grow

Their money all while avoiding the massive headaches caused by managing personal finances without an account. Many banks even offer their account holders free or discounted financial advice.

If you do not have a bank account, you should consider opening one. But before you do there are a few things you should know.

First of all, there are a few age regulations for bank accounts. As a rule of thumb, in order to open any account you must be eighteen years old at least because minors cannot be held liable for them. However, many individual bank regions offer some flexibility in this regard. Some financial institutions allow savings accounts to be started by individuals as young as fifteen. Checking accounts may be opened for people who are seventeen or older. Some banks offer accounts for kids who are even younger, so shop around to see what your local banks have to offer. If you are able to get an adult to co-sign for you, you should be able to open a savings account regardless of your age, but certain limitations will still apply in terms of checking accounts.

Before you open your bank account, you need to determine which kind of account will suit your needs. Will you be using your account to pay for more than a handful of expenditures each month? Will you need to be able to access your funds at a moments notice? If your answer to both of these questions was yes, then you will probably benefit the most from a checking account. However, if you are merely looking for a safe place to store, or perhaps even grow your funds, a savings account will be more appropriate.

Once you have decided which account to go with, you will need to understand the financial institution’s guidelines. Most bank accounts come with hidden fees. If you use an ATM that does not belong to the bank, you might be charged a penalty. If you need more checks you could receive a fee. Making too many or too few transactions with your account could result in a penalty as well. Banks are out to make money, and they do that by charging their customers fees.

In order to avoid these fees, you need to read up on a number of different banks’ policies so that you will be able to choose the best financial institution for your needs. And, if you wanted to, you could even open multiple accounts with a number of different banks. Having multiple accounts has been a beneficial financial strategy for many individuals.

Just because you are young doesn’t mean that you will not be able to enjoy the benefits of bank accounts the way that your elders do. Talk the matter over with your parents and ask them to co-sign for you so that you will be able to get the hang of managing your own finances. The experience you will gain from opening a bank account will benefit you for many years to come.