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Everything you need to know before your first trip to the bank

Congrats! If you're reading this, it's probably because you've been working hard—maybe in babysitting or at your local ice cream shop—and now you've got some spare money. It's time to ditch the piggy bank and store your money in a more secure place: the bank. Anxiety about what to do and say when you get there? By the end of this article, you'll be clearing a spot in tomorrow's sched for a trip to the teller.

Step 1: Make a plan

Before anyone else is concerned, you need to get a sense of how much money you have. If it's less than $100, you're probably safe to keep it at home until you hit that mark. Otherwise, take time to think about your spending habits and the weeks ahead. Do you and your S.O. have an anniversary coming up? Is the squad going for ice cream after lacrosse practice next week? If so, keep some of your earnings at home, either in a safe spot for later or in your wallet. Even if you don't have any set-in-stone plans for spending, it might be nice to keep anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of your cash at home, you know, in case you need to treat yourself. 

Step 2: Talk it out

Now that you've decided what money is going where, it's time to let your parents in on the plan. This is a great convo to have at the dinner table or on the way to school. Let Mom and Dad know that you're interested in using the bank, tell them about your proposed budgeting plan and be open to any suggestions they might have.

Another thing to bring up? Whether or not they've opened a savings account for you. If they have, discuss whether you want to store your money there or open a separate checking account. (The difference between the two is that savings accounts tend to be for storing money, while a checking account is better for everyday spending.) 

Step 3: Finalize the details

By now, you've got all the info you need. Just for good measure, write down a plan on a sticky note or index card to take with you to the bank. Include how much you want to deposit and which account it's going to. This is also a good place for writing down your account information, such as your account balance.

Step 4: You've got this!

OK, the day has come for your trip to the bank...and you're *so* ready. Having Mom or Dad go with you is perfectly fine—we love the moral support. If you're determined to make this a solo mission, suggest that your parents wait for you in the car. Bank tellers are incredibly kind and patient and will make sure you're doing everything correctly. Don't stress, and keep on earning that cash, bestie!

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by Riley Yates | 4/13/2022