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By Ben Heinze
Staying on top of your family’s finances can be difficult, especially if you have a larger family. Banking with your family at the same financial institution can make handling your family’s finances a more seamless experience for everyone. Read on to discover the benefits of banking together with your family.
It’s easy for one person’s accounts to become hard to manage, let alone a family. There’s a lot to track between savings, checking, retirement accounts, investment accounts and more. Add in your spouse and any accounts your children have, and it quickly becomes apparent how things can get out of hand if these accounts are scattered among many different financial institutions.
By consolidating many of your family’s accounts at one financial institution, you make tracking and keeping up with your family’s estate easier in several ways.
Getting your kids involved with finances early in life will prepare them for financial success in adulthood. Most financial institutions will offer special accounts such as a Kids Savings or Teen Checking account, that function similarly to the adult version of those accounts, but with special features suited for their ages.
As the parent, you’ll also have access to parental features that help you work with your children to best manage their finances, such as spending limits, the ability to easily transfer money in and out of their accounts and the ability to track transactions made. Parents can act as joint owners of their children’s accounts, making banking as a family a simple process.
While banks and credit unions tend to offer similar products and services, each will have its own quirks, features, benefits and more. Banking with your family at one financial institution makes navigating the best options easier. You can help your family make the most of banking at that financial institution since there will already be a level of familiarity with its offerings. Here’s a few examples of where that could come in handy:
As a family, it’s important to have shared financial goals and know your family’s overall financial picture. Banking as a family makes that a natural process, as you can become a joint owner with your spouse and have shared accounts.
While the decision to have shared accounts or keep individual accounts is ultimately a personal one, there are certainly benefits for it. For example, you can use a joint savings account to make contributions together with your spouse towards a downpayment on a house or a new car.
Having a joint account doesn’t lock you out of having an individual account, either. Many couples maintain both joint and individual accounts, with the joint account being used for the bulk of their savings goals and individual accounts being used for personal “fun money.”
While the topic can be uncomfortable to think about, it’s important to have a clear plan in place for what will happen to assets in the event someone in your family passes away. In the unfortunate event that occurs, having your family’s finances in order beforehand will allow you to focus on what matters most.
If you have joint ownership of accounts or are at the same financial institution, it will be far more seamless to make any necessary transfers, even if beneficiaries were named beforehand. Everything will be able to be done within that one institution, as opposed to multiple financial institutions needing to interact with each other.
Despite the benefits of consolidating your family’s finances at one institution, it may not be realistic to have every single account in one place. For example, you don’t have a choice where your employer’s 401k will be. Furthermore, you may need access to a certain account type not offered at your primary financial institution. There’s little harm done if your family has a few accounts elsewhere, just be sure you stay diligent in tracking them as part of your overall financial picture.
Finances can be complicated, especially for an entire family, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Banking with your family has benefits for everyone and can result in a more seamless banking experience, from enabling joint ownership and teaching financial skills to making it easier to work towards shared financial goals. If you’re overwhelmed with staying on top of your family’s finances, family banking may be the solution.
Learn more banking tips for your family:
Ben Heinze is a marketing content specialist with a passion for financial education. Instilled with a strong sense of frugality from a young age, he views money as a means to building the life you want, rather than an end in itself. From reading Money Mentor, he hopes you discover new ways money can be used to build your ideal life—whatever that may look like.
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