As a teenager, it’s probably time to open a checking account once you have more than a few dollars to keep track of.

That’s because putting money into an account can help you monitor your spending and teach you some valuable financial lessons, including:

  • How to regularly track your spending.
  • How to make deposits.
  • How to budget your money.
  • And how to use a debit card for purchases and withdrawals.

Having banking experience will come in handy as you start making more money and even when it comes to the time you might need to get a loan.

Monitoring your spending and budgeting are important first steps. To avoid falling into debt you’ll want to make sure you always have more money in your account than you are spending. You’ll be able to monitor your account balance 24/7 with your smartphone or computer by using online banking. You can also keep track of your spending and income by using a spreadsheet or a budgeting app, if you prefer. And once a month you’ll get an updated account statement you can view online.

When you use a debit card it’s like spending cash because the money comes directly from your account in real time. Checking your account frequently will let you know where you’ve been spending money and how much you still have. With online and mobile banking you can even set alerts to notify you when your account balance falls below a certain amount – meaning it’s either time to stop spending or to deposit more money.

You can also deposit checks by using your smartphone. It’s as simple as taking a couple of photos and following simple instructions in your mobile banking app.

If you find that you regularly have more money than you spend, you might want to open a savings account that will earn you a bit of interest.

Depending on your age, you might need to open your account with the help of a parent or guardian, and that will be a good time to ask about any fees or if there is a minimum balance you need to keep in your account.

Everything you do at this age is likely to be a new experience, but learning how to manage your money today will pay off in the long run.