Like many parents, you probably opened a savings account for your child when he or she was a baby. If you’ve already been teaching smart money management skills and your son or daughter has shown financial responsibility, a debit card/checking account from Mid Oregon Credit Union can be a great next step now that your child is a teen.

As kids hit middle-school age they start spending more time with friends and you’re not always around when they’re using money. Some of these times when the stakes aren’t so high could be good opportunities for them to demonstrate responsibility and use a debit card. Movies or lunches out can be good activities to start with for kids to pay with an alternative to cash.

Though most teens, like most people, no longer write many checks, when the opportunity arises for your teen to write one, jump on it. For example, perhaps your teen pays part of the cell phone bill each month. Have your teen write a check to you for his or her part of the payment. It would be easier just to transfer money from your teen’s account to yours, but getting practice writing a check once in a while can be beneficial for your teen.

Explain to your teen the importance of keeping track of the balance in his or her account either by writing each transaction in a check register or by closely monitoring accounts online, frequently. Also remind your kid that online balances might not portray the actual balance in the account if transactions haven’t posted or if checks haven’t been cashed.

With today’s mobile banking tools, your teen (and you!) can be up to speed on account balances, transactions and mobile alerts. The newest Mid Oregon tool of CardNavSM by CO-OP gives real-time security and control over Mid Oregon debit cards through smartphones or tablets! It can use GPS to restrict transactions to businesses within a designated area. You can limit debit card use to specific merchant or purchase types. You can receive near real-time, in-app transaction alerts. and receive alerts when you’re getting close to any personal spending limits set.  Visit MidOregon.com for information on downloading this free app.

The professionals at Mid Oregon are eager to help your teen take this next step financially. Stop by and we’ll show your teen just how awesome it is to go through life with your credit union by your side.