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Just Beginning

Financial advice for teens and college years

You might be on your own, or you will be very soon. Now is the time to start cultivating sound money-management habits. Many financially sound adults accomplished their goals through careful financial planning that began when they were students.

How can you start on the path to sound money management?

  1. Become a "Star Saver" – Saving money in your teens and college years is an excellent habit that will train you to be a good money manager for the rest of your life. Set goals for your money and start saving now. Citizens Bank offers saving accounts specifically designed for those who are just beginning:
    • Advantage Savings – Earn interest while building savings and maintaining convenient access to your funds
    • Flexible Add-On CD – Earn more interest with this low minimum balance Certificate of Deposit that allows additional deposits anytime.
    • When you are 14, you may open a savings account on your own. Younger students may open savings accounts with the co-signature of a parent.
  2. Open a Checking Account – A checking account will help you responsibly handle cash, make smart financial decisions and keep track of your spending records. Whether you use a debit card or checks, your checking account can help you manage your budget, including paying your bills on time and balancing your checkbook. With these good habits, you can start building a good credit reputation NOW. (Note: You may open a checking account on your own when you are 18. Minors may open checking accounts with the co-signature of a parent.)
    • Smart Start Checking Account – Enjoy simplicity, value and convenience with no minimum balance plus free ATM use! This account is specially designed for young adults aged 16 - 24 years.
    • Cash Back Checking Account - What's better than free? Cash back! If you have a direct deposit to your account, sign up for e-statements and use your debit card for purchases at least 12 times per month, this account might be an even better option for you. Click the link to learn more.
  3. Make it Easy – Save time, money and paper with these convenient Banking Solutions.
    • NetTeller – Online banking that allows you to access your financial accounts 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
    • Mobile Banking – Access NetTeller through your smart phone or other mobile device.
    • VISA® Debit Card – Access funds from your checking account to pay for purchases at any retailer that accepts VISA cards.
    • ATM Card – Access your checking or savings account funds at an ATM machine or use to make purchases at businesses that accept ATM cards.
    • Bill Payer – Pay your bills online 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
  4. Plan for College – It's never too early for pre-college students and their families to identify the financial resources they have available to fund a college education—whether from savings, loans, grants, scholarships or work income. Here are some sources to help you and your parents plan how you will finance a higher education:
    • College Savings Plans – Citizens Bank offers several options, including 529 Education Plans, to help you save for the cost of a higher education. Talk to a Financial Advisor to find out how.
    • Student Loans – A student loan has a low interest rate that can be repaid over a longer time period than standard consumer loans.
    • Other bank loans – Citizens Bank offers a variety of consumer loans to help you meet your credit needs.
  5. Be Credit Savvy – If you're a college student with limited credit history, you can get a credit card to start establishing your financial independence. Pay your bills on time and make smart financial decisions and you will be well on your way to establishing a strong credit history
    • College Rewards Visa® Card - Applicant must be 18 years of age, have a U.S. address, a Social Security number and be attending a 2 or 4-year college
  6. Be safeCitizens Bank Insurance Services can serve all of your personal insurance needs.
    • Renter's Insurance – Keep your personal possessions protected with a renter's insurance policy.
    • Auto Insurance – We will shop over 30 different insurance carriers to find a program of coverage that is customized to your individual needs and budget.

More tips for effective financial management:

  • Set a savings goal and keep track of your progress.
  • If you have a job, don't spend everything you make.
  • Record all your transactions daily for your checking and savings accounts, whether they are made with debit or credit cards or paper checks and deposit slips.
  • Know your account details such as overdraft charges, interest rates, withdrawal restrictions, minimum balances, etc.