It’s never too early to start saving for college and other expenses that will appear over your child’s life. Getting into the habit when your child is still a baby is an excellent idea. You can open a savings account
for a baby in your name, knowing that the funds are actually for your child. However, opening the account in your child’s name is also a magnificent gift
for your growing child. Here is what you need to know about opening a savings account for a newborn.
Savings Account Co-Signer:
Children under the age of 18 are not legally allowed to sign documents, such as those you sign when opening a savings account
. Fortunately, you can still open a savings account by having both of your names on the account. When the child turns of age, you can go to the bank and remove your name permanently. While your child is still a minor, however, you will be the one who will have control of the account. You will have the ability to make withdrawals or deposits and close it if necessary.
You should plan on showing a birth certificate for your baby when opening the savings account. Most banks will not have a minimum age if a parent will also be listed on the account. However, they do want some confirmation of legal responsibility for the child. You will need to show your own driver’s license. You should also expect to make some form of initial deposit to open the account. In addition, you will need both of your social security numbers to open a savings account.
Savings accounts often carry fees. There are ways to get around this unhappy fact. Start by talking to the bank you currently use. They may offer accounts that can be connected to your checking account
, allowing you to avoid the fees. Your credit union or an online bank
may offer savings accounts without any attached fees. Other banks provide accounts that will waive the fees provided a certain number of deposits are made each month. Another option is to choose an account that offers no service charges if there is a minimum balance. You can then open the account by giving that minimum balance to your baby as a gift. Be sure to read the fine print on any account so you know the reasons fees are charged and can monitor the activity accordingly.
The bank should be convenient to your home. Online banking is great for adults, but as your child grows you will want to take him to actually visit the bank where his money is. Choosing a bank that is close to home will allow your growing child to make regular deposits and start to appreciate the value of saving. Your baby might not care now, but your older child will love visiting the bank and seeing how much money she has saved.
The interest on many savings accounts is abysmal. You will probably find the best rates by looking at your local credit union. Talk to your local bank about programs that might provide you with more favorable interest rates. You can also move the funds into a more attractive certificate of deposit or investment account as they grow, allowing your child to earn more interest on her savings.
It is never too early to open a savings account and start teaching your child the value of saving money. It doesn't have to be expensive or tedious, and it's guaranteed to be a source of pride for your growing child.