One of the most important things every parent is concerned with is setting up their children for a successful future. There are obviously many ways to raise a productive citizen in today’s world. However, this blog will focus on the importance of teaching your children about finances and credit. I remember when I turned 18, my father helped me get a credit card and taught me about establishing credit. Those lessons I learned set me up for my future in a way that millions of my peers were not set up for their future. As society progresses, we can now open up a bank account for our children as young as 13 years old with USAA.

Why Should I Start a Checking Account For My Children?

Starting a bank account is one of the most important things you can do for your children, besides getting up a 529 Education Savings Plan. Understanding economics is sometimes very difficult and sometimes impossible to learn. However, by starting a bank account for your child (age 13), he/she will be able to learn about maintaining a checking account, which includes learning topics such as overdraft, interest, monthly fees, and direct deposit. Fortunately, USAA offers a checking account with no monthly fees and no minimum balance, so you can teach your children lessons on personal finance without risking a lot of money. I can attest to the fact that if I hadn’t learned about balancing a checkbook and bank account when I was 15, I would not still be financially stable during this pandemic.

USAA Youth Checking Account

The most basic account you should open for your children once they hit 13 years old is a checking account. You can give your child an independent account and still ensure control with parental management features. For example, if you’re ever worried about the account, you can sign up for text message or phone call alerts if the balance gets too low or a big purchase was made. You can also give your child their very own secure access to their account through USAA and have parental controls on what they can do and can’t do with that account. You can even decide whether or not you want your child to be able to transfer money or make deposits. Finally, you can transfer money into the checking account at any time, without a fee (if it’s another USAA account). My father used these tools for me and my brother to ensure we knew how to handle money and understood the repercussions of mismanaging money.

Why Should I Open a USAA Youth Checking Account?

The number reason for opening a checking account with USAA over its competition is for the simple fact that it’s a free account with no minimum balance. USAA doesn’t charge monthly service fees, which can get up to $50 a month for other banks. The Youth Checking account comes with overdraft protection, which ensures if you make a mistake about your overall balance, you’re not going to be punished with a $100-$200 overdraft fee. I always encourage every child to start earning money as early as possible because they’ll learn how to handle their finances before they move out. Proper financial management is one of the most important lessons you can teach your children before they leave the house. Opening an account with USAA is a great way to invest your kid’s future with zero risks to the parent. The skills I’ve learned since I was 15 has allowed me to manage my money in the most efficient way.

USAA Youth Savings Account

I always recommend a Checking account, especially if your child has a job to learn about direct deposit and managing a portfolio. However, I will argue that learning about interest and saving money is the single most important thing you can teach your children. USAA will allow the parent to conduct free transfers from their account to the Youth Savings Account at any time. For example, if you want to put $20 in your child’s savings account every month for allowance, you can set up an automatic transfer to make it easier for you to help your child save for their future. The parent will have full control over the account, with the ability to deposit checks and cash from an ATM and deposit checks on the mobile app.

Why Should I Set Up a USAA Savings Account for My Child?

You’ll be able to teach your kids about budgeting, savings, interest, and everything else that encompasses financing. USAA requires a minimum $25 initial deposit and has no fees to set up the account. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is 0.05%, which is right at the national average of 0.06% for most banks. However, if you set up this account when your son/daughter hits 13 years of age, you’ll be able to give them a phenomenal start to savings. Once your child turns 18 years old, they can instantly switch from the youth account to the USAA Savings Account. A youth savings account would give your children upwards of a 7-year headstart on their peers that don’t have access to USAA.

How Do I Register For a USAA Youth Savings Account?

If you’re already a USAA member, the process is very easy and takes about 7 minutes to complete. Start, by going to the Register page on and make sure you have your personal info along with the child you’re trying to set up. Ensure you have your driver’s license, USAA Number, Social Security Number, and your account and router number if you already have an account with USAA.

How Do I Set Up Parental Controls?

The 1st thing you need to do is go to your USAA profile, then find the Youth Banking Account,  and click the “I Want to” tab, and select “view all options”. You can then change parental controls to either allow or block access to the money in the account. You can also request to receive text message alerts for every transaction in the account. This feature ensures that you know of everything that happens inside your child’s account.

What Are The Best Ways to Use the USAA Savings Account?

I recommend using this account as a learning tool to teach your children about financial management, as discussed above. However, there are other ways to maximize the benefits of the account. For example, other people besides the parent (s) can make deposits into the savings account. If the child’s grandmother, uncle, aunt, or family friend wanted to send a birthday or Christmas present, they can deposit the money directly into a USAA Savings or Checking Account. All they need is the account and routing number and they can deposit up to $10,000 per month. My relatives and family friends deposited money in my account when I graduated high school, instead of giving me cash.

*If you’re interested in alternative savings options, check out these CDs: BBVA Compass, Discover Bank, and CIT Bank.

What is USAA Security Zone?

This is USAA’s way of preventing identity theft by providing a label that says “USAA Security Zone” with the name of the person emailing you and the last 4 of your USAA number. You can receive emails from all over the world that says they’re from USAA and they want you to give them your account info so they fix an issue or help you in some way. This is a great learning tool for your children because it will teach them how to spot a fraud email and to always be on the lookout of that email. USAA makes simple, if it doesn’t have the symbol below in the top right corner of the email, don’t respond to the email. Call USAA, immediately and have them look into the email.