We all want to be smart with money. While it’s important to treat yo’self to things you like (and deserve tbh) it’s also important to be good at saving. Saving allows you to buy bigger purchases that you’ve really thought about and really want, and gives you a bit more independence to make your own decisions.
While sometimes parents and guardians can be great at giving pocket money or buying you special things when you really want them, having your own money means that you can make your own decisions (within reason obvs) on your spending and not have to plead with mam or dad when it comes to new shoes, or the latest lip kit. Of course, there are also experiences, presents for others, food, cinema trips and lots more you might want to spend on so in general, having your own money is a great idea.
Even if you’ve got nothing in mind that you’d like to buy right now, getting into good saving habits is a great way to prepare you for life, and big decisions like college and travelling when you’re a bit older.
So you want to open a bank account
You can go to any bank (maybe it’s best to opt for the same one as your parent or guardian) to open an account. Talk to your parents about what they reccommend and do your research online about the best options for you. You will need a parent or guardian’s permission to open one so make sure to keep them informed.
Once you choose a bank, you will need proof of ID with a passport and proof of address, most likely from your school.
With most junior or student accounts, there is no maximum or minimum amount you need to lodge per month or year. But you can get interest (a little bit more money) on your savings if you save a certain amount, depending on the bank.
As we already mentioned, opening an account is a great way to star saving and get into good money habits, but there are other benefits too. You’ll get mobile banking which means you’ll have an app on your phone where you can see what’s going in and out of the account, so if you have a part time job it’s a great way to keep track of when and how much you’re getting paid. And you can keep an eye on how much you spent in one month to figure out if you need to calm down on those trips to Nandos or Boohoo purchases. Speaking of Boohoo, you will also get a debit card about a week after you apply, which will make shopping online so much easier, no more nagging a grown-up for their card. (It might still be worth checking with them before you buy a whole new wardrobe though!). When it arrives, you need to go to an ATM to activate it and use your pin. A debit card also allows you to carry around your money more safelty, since it’s not in case, and withdraw from an ATM when you do need cash.
Plus, there’s little or no fees from the bank for opening, or maintaining the account (grown ups usually pay quarterly fees etc to keep the account going, but not you!).
How do I apply?
Often, it’s best to pop into an actual bank and have a chat with someone, along with a parent or guardian, to fully understand what you’re signing up for. But in many cases, you can also apply online. Just google your prefered bank along with ‘junior account’ and go from there. Sometimes it will be called ‘2nd level account’ or ‘teen account’. You’ll be asked a few questions about your age, address etc, but once you answer all that and get approved, you’ll be on your way to being a savvy saver!