Top 5 Questions About Starting a Savings Account for Babies
You’ve just found out that you’re going to be a parent. Congratulations! But soon after, you start mentally registering your financially responsible side wonders—the clothes, the toys, doctor bills, school, and so on.
The next thing that pops into your mind is a simple question: can I open a savings account for my baby? As a new parent, it can be hard to think about long-term financial planning, let alone saving money.
But if you start saving now and make intelligent choices as your child grows up, you’ll be in a good position when it comes time for college tuition or buying your first home. Speaking of which, how much do you know about savings accounts for babies? No worries, here we will answer the parents’ five frequent questions about the topic.
Fantastic Ways a Savings Account For Babies Can Help a Parent
Parents constantly strive to save money for their little ones, whether it’s a child’s or a grandchild’s birthday, the holidays, or back-to-school time. Preparing for the arrival of a baby can be very exciting and stressful. It is also costly, but it doesn’t have to be. One way you can save some money is with a savings account for babies or a toy fund.
According to the US Department of Agriculture’s February 2020 report, parents spend $233,610 on average by the time a child turns 17. That number can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. One way you can save some money is with a savings account for babies.
Savings account for babies have never been more popular. Parents use it as a plan to motivate children to save their money and provide some security for new family members in the future. One of the most common questions about starting a savings account for babies is, “Why should I open a savings account for my baby?”
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to make that decision without a plan. However, the answer isn’t complicated. There are plenty of ways to use a savings account for babies-and each has its benefits. So, if you are wondering about savings accounts for babies, then here are some fantastic ways in which it will help you:
You can save money for the future:
You’ve probably heard this one before—and it’s true! Thinking ahead and saving money can help you at a future date. There is always a moment you think it doesn’t matter, but over time a small amount becomes big.
Even if your child is only two years old now, it’s never too early to start planning! The most common reason parents do this is to think ahead when their child grows up. They will eventually need money for college tuition fees and other things.
If you had saved some money for them when they were young, you’d be able to build up enough cash so your child can go without having to take out student loans or take jobs during school that will distract them from their studies. A savings account is not just about saving money today but also investing in tomorrow.
You can teach them about saving money:
Many essential lessons get omitted with the life we lead now. For example, what is more, crucial for your child’s future than being a responsible adult taking care of themselves? You may wonder why we mention this early when you have a newborn.
The truth is that time passes so quickly. In a blink of an eye, your baby is a seven-year-old. If something is sure, children love spending their pocket money on toys and snacks. But if parents teach them about saving money early, this habit will stay with them forever.
That means that even when they become adults, they will understand the importance of budgeting, saving, and knowing the difference between “want” and “need.”
Save for emergencies at home and abroad.
Parents often forget about saving for unexpected expenses. If you have a family, then it is crucial to save some money for emergencies that might happen in the future. It can be anything from your child being sick abroad or being invited to a birthday party at home. These unexpected expenses often pop up throughout their childhood.
Extra cash could help ensure peace of mind throughout those challenging years ahead! These are the most important reasons you want to have savings for your child. Many times in life, the wheel of fortune turns. One day you are doing well. Another is that the wheel is stuck in the mud by the road.
Life is always unpredictable, but having a plan ahead and opening a savings account for babies while your wheel is still on the road can help your child and you quickly pass through the rough periods. Many people don’t understand the importance because they live in the moment. But the truth is you save now when you have the funds to have a piece of mind in the future.
5 Common Questions About Savings Accounts For Babies with Answers
Many parents get excited about opening a savings account for babies. However, you’ll likely have many questions when you’re a new parent. Luckily, there’s no shortage of resources, but when it comes to saving for your baby’s future, we all know there are more questions than answers.
The law binds most banks, and a minor in the US cannot have a savings account. That confuses the parents, who have many questions when they see that some online banks do not have age requirements.
However, other options with traditional banks can help you plan to save for your child’s future. These questions concern the account, what institution to open it, and how much money to save for your child. Fortunately, we made a short list of five common questions parents have about savings accounts for babies.
#1 Can I Open a Savings Account for my Newborn?
It may sound ridiculous, but opening a baby savings account is smart. It is the one that will pay off over time. Imagine if you start with only a $20 deposit each month. By the time your child turns 15, the account will have accumulated $3,600 without interest. Can you imagine what that sum would be if you could deposit $100 or more, with 2% APY, till your child turns 18? The more money you put into the account, the more interest it will earn.
You can open a savings account for babies and newborns.
You can open a savings account for your newborn as soon as you introduce them to this world. It is a great way to give them a head start in life and perhaps even teach them money management in the future.
Before you start with thoughts that you earn less than you can set aside, we will stop you there. It’s okay to start small when setting up a savings account for your child. It’s better to start early, even if you only have a few dollars. Many parents wave their hands off when someone tells them to save a small amount.
Maybe it will not help entirely, but if that’s what you can afford to set aside, even if it’s tiny, it is something. As we all know, small is better than having none. The truth is that we live hectic lives, and we often forget what our plans are. It’s easy to get lost in mundane things. That means forgetting to set aside a monthly amount for your child. It is one of the reasons it’s easier for parents to set up a savings account for babies than stash money around the house. In addition, the banks offer automated deposits at a specific date.
That leaves parents worry-free that they skipped a month, possibly reducing their child’s savings. A savings account can help you set aside funds for college or other vital expenses. It’s a far-stretched thought, but it’s always better to be ready than sorry. For example, imagine your child growing up and having a dream of applying to college. The common thing to do is get credit. But that places your child in a debt-filled life. Now, suppose you saved some money, especially for this occasion. Even if the sum doesn’t cover all the tuition expenses, it’s an excellent start for your kid.
#2 How to Get a Savings Account for Your Newborn Baby?
As we already mentioned, minors are not allowed to have savings accounts in their name. However, as a legal guardian, or a parent, you can open one in your name. However, there are a few differences in account features and conveniences when choosing an institution to open an account.
If you’re looking to open a savings account for your newborn baby, you have a few options. You can open an account at an online or a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. There are also alternative options available if you wish to make savings for your little one and teach them money management in the future.
It’s essential to consider what kind of account you want to open. For example, do you want one that pays interest or doesn’t? Do you want a bank with many branches nearby, so getting cash isn’t an issue? Or would you instead go with the online bank that offers better rates? When looking at traditional and online banks, there are some critical differences in what they offer.
Online banks have been around since the 1990s, but they’ve grown in popularity over the last few years. The most significant difference between online banks and traditional brick-and-mortar banks is that online banks don’t have physical locations—they’re entirely online. It means that you can access your accounts from anywhere with internet access.
Online banks offer many of the same features as traditional brick-and-mortar banks, like interest rates and banking apps, but they don’t have physical branches. Instead, you can log into your account through an app on your phone or computer. That means you don’t need to go anywhere to make deposits, withdrawals, or check your balance; you can do everything remotely! You can use ATMs to withdraw money.
But with online banks, these fees might be higher. The positive side is that they have lower costs on other services. But, will that ease your mind if the bank has a deposit limit, as they often do? Parents often choose online banks for their kid’s saving accounts because of the higher interest rates. However, they do not offer check accounts or credit cards. Another downfall of the online bank is the absence of an actual branch.
Why is it important? Suppose your children grow, and you want to teach them money management, saving, or even investing. It might be challenging to explain how things work if they do not see it in the real world.
Traditional brick-and-mortar banks might be a better option if you’re looking for a personal touch when opening a savings account for your newborn baby. Many offer a wide variety of products and services, such as:
- free checking accounts with no minimum balance requirements
- federal deposit protection up to $250,000 per depositor
- investment consultations
- home loans
- auto loans
- credit cards
- safe deposit boxes
However, their fees may be higher for each option, and they have lower interest rates. The positive side is that they are no strangers to online banking, and with so many options, you can choose what your next move will be.
#3 Which Savings Account is Best for Babies?
If you are wondering about the account type that is best for your baby, the answer is it depends on your financial goals. For example, a basic savings account is the best option if you want to get savings to account for them as early as possible.
Find a bank that promotes financial education. If your child never learns about money management from an early age, they’ll be less likely to take an interest in it later in life. You can help your child learn about financial literacy by choosing a savings account that promotes it.
Banks like Bank5 Connect allow you to set up an educational account for your child and provide them with age-appropriate lessons on how money works. Look for an account with low or no fees. It may seem obvious, but many banks charge fees just for having an account!
So make sure the one you choose won’t charge you extra when your child makes deposits or withdrawals or when they pay bills online. Choose an account with high yields. You want their savings to keep up with inflation and grow over time so there will be enough money available when they go off to college. You’ll need to decide which type of account works best for your family situation-but either way; there are documents you’ll need to fill out before opening an account. The most common required documents include:
- Birth certificates
- Social Security numbers (SSN)
You may also need additional information depending on the bank or financial institution where you choose to open an account. But there are some guidelines when looking for the best baby savings account. The best one you can choose is the one with the ability to save regularly, a reasonable interest rate, and without the high fee costs.
Perhaps you should check with your bank to see their options and benefits. However, probably the essential thing to consider is the possible future change and whether the account scales with your child’s needs.
For instance, when the time passes and your child becomes a teen, can you switch the account to a teen checking account? You might also want debit card access for your child, and while some accounts have no problem with it, others either do not offer the option or have an age limit. Knowing that the bank has figured out ways to help accounts grow with their youngest customers and coach them along their financial journey can benefit some people.
#4 When Should You Start Saving for a Baby?
Think of it this way, if you knew where you would fall, you would sit down instead. Being a parent is one of the most significant responsibilities, not just as a teacher of life and self-sufficiency but also as a financial advisor to the basics of financial literacy. But until that time, you want to have a fund you can use. Wise decision!
You might read online about the average cost of having a baby, and the prices keep rising as your little one grows. True, then your choice of when to start saving is entirely up to you. However, the truth is the sooner you start, the more money you save for your child to have adequate time to grow. It’s always better to be prepared than to get hit with unexpected expenses.
You can even begin while the baby is still in the womb because you will need to register an account in your name anyway. You should have different funds available, and those unexpected expenses should be separate from your child’s savings. Of course, kids always have unexpected expenses, but you can research the possible ones online.
Nowadays, many blogs give you information about the costs of having a child in the US. Some go so far as to explain pre and post-natal expenses for the baby. Why does that matter? Well, it can help you have clear information about the unexpected costs and help you make a secret fund just for that, separate from the savings for your child.
Some parents are not in an excellent position to start with both at once. But, as previously mentioned in the text above, it’s best to start with something and increase the sum later than do nothing. Many of us tell ourselves: I’ll do it tomorrow or the day after. Life moves on its own accord, and all that seems like a quick decision becomes permanent if you are not careful.
Parents often say that it was easier to save money while they weren’t born than when their children came into this world. So let that be some motivation to start saving as soon as possible. Whatever you manage to keep until your child gets into their teens is better than nothing. Money is not the most crucial thing in the world, but it does matter when making some decisions and choices in life.
#5 How Much Should You Save Each Month for a Baby?
That is a good question. But, the answer depends on your savings goal for the future. For example, some people may choose to save for a child’s tuition, while others want to have funds their child can use once they become an adult. Either way, you must have some indication of what the minimum sum you want to have in your child’s savings account. That’s a good start to give you a starting point.
Saving for Educational Purposes
For instance, if you are trying to save for your child’s future education, you should consider all the possibilities. People start small at first because they increase their monthly savings as the years go by. It is especially evident through monthly contributions to 529 College savings accounts. They start with $250 monthly the first year and increase over the years by $10 at first and later by $30, $70, and $100.
However, if you are not choosing a 529 plan, you can follow some simple guidelines. Of course, you cannot know which college your unborn child will attend, but you can consider various options such as institutions in your city or state, college in another state, and perhaps even a private one. The total tuition for each can give you a basic calculation of how much you should save.
Naturally, it also depends on your financial ability. Not everyone can afford private universities; you may decide which of the three to start saving for until your child turns 17. Let’s assume that a four-year public college out-of-state currently costs $20,770 per year. That means your starting point should be $1,730 a month. Naturally, this sum increases yearly because the tuition changes, and by the time your child reaches the teenage years, it may drastically change.
Saving for the Future
However, some parents want savings to account for their child, but not necessarily for education. So, how do you know how much is enough? The answer to that question also depends on how much you can save with your current income.
A good rule is to move 20% of your monthly payment to savings. Then, whatever you earn during the year, you will see that at the end of the year, 20% each month becomes a relatively reasonable sum. If you cannot set aside that much, choose the monthly percentage and stick to it.
You can take another approach by checking the data about the median salary for full-time workers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So let’s assume a young adult earns $32,656 each year; perhaps that is a good starting point to choose how much per month you can set aside. In this case, it would be $2,721 per month, as it is a large sum, and that would mean if you start with it, your child would have savings as if they worked for all the years you were deposited to their savings account for babies.
You can decide on a smaller amount and cut the number of years. Whichever approach you choose, be sure to set it according to your financial abilities. There isn’t much point if you set the monthly deposits to be high and then don’t have money for bread at the end of the month. The point is to balance out your income, expenses, and savings. That will let you save money for your baby’s future and not be exposed to privation each month.
Alternative to Savings Account for Babies
If you are prepared to set up a savings account for your newborn, then you must have a concrete plan as to why you are saving in the first place. That means you have specific needs. If that’s so, then perhaps you could consider alternatives to regular savings accounts for babies. It may be a different concept, but it depends on what you are trying to achieve.
529 College Savings Accounts:
These accounts are specifically designed for college savings. Suppose that is your goal for your newborn, then this account might be more suitable for your needs. What makes them so great is that they allow tax-free growth on contributions and withdrawals, which means you can start building up this money early!
The parent can form these accounts, but anyone, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends, can contribute. Every state has at least one 529 plan. There are no annual limits on 529 plan contributions, and you can open a plan in any form, regardless of where you live. Additionally, you can put your money into several mutual funds.
If you’re unsure about investing in stocks or bonds, consider opening a custodial account for your child instead. That means your child can invest in stocks and funds through this account. This type of account allows you to control the funds until your child reaches adulthood (the age varies depending on where you live), at which point they will have full access rights to all the money in the account.
UGMA/UTMA accounts are a popular alternative to savings accounts for babies. These accounts can be opened by the child’s parent(s) or guardian and are intended to fund the child’s education. The account is in the name of a minor, and distributions must be used for that purpose.
UGMA and UTMA accounts allow you to transfer assets into a statement in your child’s name. It means you can use it as a trust fund for your child and keep control over the funds until they reach adulthood. Additionally, UGMA and UTMA account, unlike a traditional savings account, which is limited to adults and requires a minimum balance of $100,000 before you can withdraw money from them without taxes or penalties.
Your child won’t be a baby forever, and many parents are concerned about letting their children know they have a savings account. So before you release them into the grown-up world but still want to teach them financial literacy, a great test option is apps such as BusyKid.
It is an Android and iOS app that helps parents track their children’s spending and savings habits. The app allows you to set budgets for your children and then monitor how much they spend and save. You can also use the app to keep track of their chores, school grades, and extracurricular activities. Through a simple interface, you can manage their allowance. It allows you to set goals and monitor your child’s progress toward achieving them, helping you teach them important financial lessons before entering the world of finance and the workforce.
Final Thoughts on the Top 5 Questions About Starting a Savings Account for Babies
The truth is, you should start a savings account for your child. In the event of any sort of disaster, numerous protections are in place to ensure your child gets what they need. However, it’s still in your best interest to save as much money as possible now if something should happen down the road. So don’t be afraid to open an account today. Just do it safely.
Remember that there are many factors to consider when choosing a savings account, so read through each account’s details carefully. Don’t forget that your bank may offer a similar option; if it does, it might be worth taking a closer look. It’s also important to remember that you can’t just open a savings account and forget about it.
You’ll need to make regular deposits into the account, and if you don’t have any money, you won’t be able to save up. If you’re unsure how much money to deposit, start with small amounts. See what works for you, and then adjust accordingly. Remember that whichever path you choose, make sure you do not stray from it because all your savings are in vain if you do not make deposits regularly.
APY stands for Annual Percentage Yield, and it is a measure used to represent the total amount of interest you would earn on a deposit or investment over the course of one year. APY takes into account compounding, which means that interest is earned on both the initial deposit and any previously earned interest.
To calculate APY, you need to know the nominal interest rate (also known as the annual interest rate) and the frequency of compounding.
The formula to calculate APY is:
APY = (1 + r/n)^n – 1
- r is the nominal interest rate (expressed as a decimal, not as a percentage). For example, if the nominal interest rate is 5%, r would be 0.05.
- n is the number of compounding periods in one year. For example, if interest is compounded monthly, n would be 12; if compounded quarterly, n would be 4.
Here’s an example to illustrate how to calculate APY:
Let’s say you deposit $1,000 in a savings account that offers a nominal interest rate of 4.5% compounded annually.
r = 0.045 (4.5% expressed as a decimal) n = 1 (compounded annually)
APY = (1 + 0.045/1)^1 – 1 APY = (1.045)^1 – 1 APY = 0.045 or 4.5%
So, in this example, the APY would be 4.5%, which means you would earn approximately 4.5% interest on your $1,000 deposit over the course of one year, taking into account compounding.
It’s important to note that APY provides a more accurate measure of the actual return you would earn on your investment compared to the nominal interest rate, especially when interest is compounded regularly. It allows for easy comparison of different financial products like savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), or other investments with varying interest rates and compounding frequencies.