3 Why a bank account?
By the time you’re 18 it’s a good idea to have your own bank account up and running. You can open a bank account from the age of 11.
Having a bank account is a key component in learning to manage your money. For example, you’re already picking up financial management tips as you check your balance – this is what is left following the inflows and outflows of money that have already gone through your account. Get into the habit of doing this regularly. It can easily be done online.
If you have a job, your employer can pay your wages directly into your account.
It’s possible to have earnings paid into a savings account, like a post office account, but really by the age of 18, particularly if you expect to be leaving home, you need the flexibility a bank account can provide.
What other types of account exist? There are children’s savings accounts offered by banks and building societies, usually for those aged 11 to 18, and some from the age of 7.
Another form of bank account, known as a basic bank account, operates for applicants with poor credit histories – for example a record of poor debt management. With these, once money has been paid in, you can set up direct debits to cover bills and you can withdraw cash using a cash card. You can’t have an overdraft and you can’t buy things by card (no debit card). You can only spend money that you have in your account, and this stops you getting into debt without realising.