Youth Savings Accounts

Find out what sweeteners banks offer young people to save and compare the best deals on the market with Savvy.

Last updated on June 24th, 2022 at 12:10 pm by Kurtis Eichler

Compare and find the best youth savings account

Learning the value of money early in life can instil good financial habits which last into adulthood. By simply opening a savings account, you can begin to help your child understand the basics of interest and saving.

Banks offer youth savings accounts specifically geared to children and teens under 18s. Read more about how to compare accounts with Savvy and learn how they can encourage you to grow your balance.

What is a youth savings account?

Youth savings accounts are tailored to people under the age of 18 and are often used as a tool to teach children the basics of saving. These accounts give you and your child the ability to check your balance, set savings goals and learn about the fundamentals of banking, such as interest rates and compound interest. Depending on who your bank account is with, these apps can allow you to make lists of household chores, tick them off as they’re completed and mark them as ‘paid’ when pocket money is earned.

While these accounts are meant for under 18s, there are youth savers available for people up to the age of 25. A child can open their own account once they turn 12, but they must be accompanied by a parent or carer at the branch. This varies from bank to bank, with some extending the age limit to 14 years old. Some banks give you some control over your child’s transfers and spending right up until they turn 16 years old, even if your teenager has opened the account themselves.

How do I compare youth saver accounts?

When you sit down with your child or teen to compare youth savings accounts, it’s important to check several key factors that will determine your savings growth. These include:

Interest rate

The better your interest rate, the better the return you’ll receive on your savings will be. Comparing and finding an account with a competitive interest rate with Savvy can allow you to get the most out of your savings account. For example, if you invested $100 a week at a rate of 0.5% p.a., you’d earn $326 interest after five years. However, if you invested at a rate of 2% p.a., you’d earn $1,339 over the same period. It’s important to watch out for short-term introductory rates which revert to a much-lower standard rate. You can use Savvy’s simple online savings calculator to simulate how your savings can grow.

Bonus rates

You’ll be rewarded with bonus high interest if you and your child meet the account requirements. This can be a good way of encouraging early savings habits in your child. These monthly conditions often include depositing a certain amount, which can be as little as $1 to $5, and not making any withdrawals. When comparing your options with Savvy, look at both the base and maximum interest rates. If you and your child can’t meet the requirements, your interest will be calculated on its base rate.

Access to money

It’s all in the name. Savings accounts are meant for savings. However, depending on the institution you choose, you may be allowed to make a certain number of free transactions without it impacting your interest or resulting in costly fees.

Fees

Opening a savings account account can come with a raft of monthly fees, including those for account keeping, paper statements and over-the-counter transactions, none of which are likely to cost more than $5 each. While most youth saver accounts don’t come with hidden costs, it’s important to compare your options with Savvy to ensure you’re not paying extra out-of-pocket costs.

Ability to contribute

Adding to your online savings account is easy thanks to the evolution of banking. All financial institutions offer online banking systems to make shifting money seamless. When you’re comparing accounts, make sure to double-check the youth savings account you’re opening is accessible online. This will make it easier to set up automatic deposits. For instance, having online banking functions can make it easier when transferring your child their pocket money. If you need some guidance on how much to put away to reach your target, you can use Savvy’s handy online deposit calculator.

Parental controls

A parental control feature allows you to dictate how much control your child has over their savings. Some of these features offered by banks include allowing your child to check their balance but not withdraw. If your child is under 12, parental controls are mandatory.

Account requirements

Youth savings accounts can come with several conditions or requirements, such as minimum deposits or balances. These can include keeping your balance above zero or having a higher balance month-on-month. By comparing with Savvy, you’ll be able to find a set of requirements you and your child can easily manage.

Top tips for helping young people save

Draw up a budget

Budgeting is one of those fundamental life skills every kid should have. To help your child get a grasp of the finance basics, get them to work out a savings goal and how they can achieve it. It’s also a good idea to talk about the risks of over-spending. Our online calculator can help you and your child determine how long you need to save to achieve your goal.

Find the right account with Savvy

Just like buying a car, it’s important to shop around when opening a youth savings account for your teenager. Comparing with Savvy will ensure you find the best youth saver the market has to offer to help your child achieve their savings goal faster.

Be wary of introductory offers

Banks offer ‘honeymoon’ or introductory offers to get potential customers to open an account with them. These accounts can be enticing because they offer a short period of high interest when you open the account. However, it pays to remember this will only last for three to six months before reverting to a much-lower base rate, so it’s always important to consider what that rate is. h.

Automate your deposits

Gone are the days when kids only received pocket money in the form of cash or coins. Thanks to modern internet banking, you can set up automatic deposits. This allows you to schedule your child’s pocket money every week to be deposited straight into their youth saver account so they won’t fall short of their bonus interest requirements.

Frequently asked youth savings account questions

How do I qualify for a youth saver account?

A youth saver account comes with a few eligibility requirements. These include:

  • Age: A parent or carer must accompany a child under 12 years old to a branch if they wish to open a savings account. From the age of 14 years old, a child can open an account on their own
  • Residency: The account holder must be an Australian resident with a local address for tax purposes
What documents do I need to supply?

Regardless of whether you’re accompanying your child to open a youth account or they’re old enough to open one themselves, they’ll need some photo ID. This can be in the form of the following:

  • A current Australian passport or one which expired less than two years ago
  • A valid driver’s licence if the account holder is over 16 years old
  • A government-issued Proof of Age card
  • A travel document or national identity card issued by a foreign government
  • A tax file number (if applicable)
What happens to my account once I turn 18?

A financial institution has 12 months to write to an account holder and offer them a standard savings account once they turn 18 years old. If you don’t respond, your account is archived and can be retrieved within seven years.

What are some other ways banks teach young people about money?

Banks offer fun tools and guides to help teach children the basics of financial management. Some of these include:

  • Short video tutorials dedicated to financial literacy. Parents can use these as fun resources to teach their children about money and how to identify savings goals
  • Downloadable budget plans, savings lists, IOU slips and resume builders
  • A glossary of banking terms, such as ATM and BSB number, which parents can read through with their children
  • How-to guides with simple steps for teaching basic finance to children
Can I have multiple youth savings accounts?

Yes – but only if these accounts are with separate institutions. Most banks limit account holders to one savings account and one transaction account if they’re under the age of 18.

How do I know my money is safe in a savings account?

All savings accounts are protected by the federal government’s Financial Claims Scheme, with safeguards balances up to $250,000 in the event a financial institution collapses.