Smart Start for Teens


Hey, you’re not a little kid anymore. So, isn’t it time you grabbed some independence? And nothing gives you a greater sense of freedom than choosing how to handle your money.

Learning about finances will teach you to build wealth for the future. But don’t let the whole “banking” thing scare you. Your parents and credit union staff are around to help.

Balancing Your Saving and Spending

Some people are spenders and some are savers. The most successful people plan both their spending and saving. A Spending Plan can help you learn to control your money. And an easy-to-follow Budget Worksheet can help you organize what you make and what you should spend and what you should save.

Getting Started

You and your parents/guardians may not feel you are ready for a debit card or credit card, and that’s OK – everyone has to start somewhere. That’s why we created the ATM-only Crisp Cash Card. It’s a cash withdrawal card that removes funds from either your credit union savings or checking account. But it is not a MasterCard® or Visa® product – so you can’t use it at any merchant or to make purchases – it’s strictly for withdrawing cash from ATMs only. It’s perfect for those just starting out in life and learning how to manage their finances.

You can use the Crisp Cash card at any On Tap Credit Union ATM or at ATMs that display the CO-OP logos. These machines are surcharge-free (won’t charge you money to use them) and are shared by credit unions. You can use the card at other banks, but you’ll probably pay a surcharge/fee.

So check out the ATM-Only Crisp Cash card to see if it’s the right way to get started on the road to smart money management. Oh, and did we mention there are two great designs to choose from?

Checking Accounts

You can open Your First Checking Account when you are 13 years old.

Using Your Checking Account

A check represents money in your checking account. Don’t forget to keep track of the checks you write. Learn to balance your account.

MasterCard® Debit Check Cards
Debit check cards look like credit cards, but they are very different. Debit check cards automatically pull money from your checking account. Use them to make purchases at stores or online. You may also use the ATM-only Crisp Cash card with a checking account and at the ATMs listed in the next section.

Your MasterCard Mile High debit check card is also your ATM card. To save money use On Tap Credit Union ATMs or ATMs that displays the CO-OP. These machines are surcharge-free (won’t charge you money to use them) and are shared by credit unions. You can use ATMs at other banks, but you’ll probably pay a surcharge.

Overdraft Protection
Mistakes can happen to anyone. You can avoid costly overdraft fees. All it takes is a little preparation.

On Tap Online Banking
Check on your account anytime you want, for free.

Automatic Allowance
If you earn an allowance your parents can pay you without even thinking about it. Just have them schedule an Automatic Transfer from their account to yours. Your allowance will arrive at the same day each week at no cost to you or your parents.

Direct Deposit
If you have a job ask your employer about Direct Deposit. Direct Deposit electronically deposits your paycheck into your credit union checking account. You don’t have to visit the branch or worry about losing your paycheck.

Buying a Car

You’ve got driving on your mind. And you can’t wait till you have a car of your very own. But, you have lots of questions, like:

  • How much money will I need?
  • Should I save for a car or do I get a loan?
  • How can I be sure I’m getting a good deal?

Check out our auto-buying resources to search for vehicles and figure out how much car you can afford with our loan calculator. 

Save More Money - Faster

Want to know how fast your savings will grow? Just apply the Rule of 72. It’s a quick and simple way to estimate how much you’ll earn in any type of savings account.

This simple estimation gives you an idea of how long it takes to double your investment. You can calculate any deposit account to compare. Just divide 72 by the account interest rate and voila!

Here’s a Rule of 72 example using a $2,000 deposit:

  • 72 divided by 2% interest of regular savings = 36 years to reach $4,000
  • 72 divided by 10% interest of power savings = 7 years to reach $4,000

What a difference!

Staying Safe

You’re learning how to manage and grow your money. Be smart. Keep your identity and your money safe by following our advice on Fraud and Security.