Teenager banking

Should young people care where they bank?

I am a 17 year old, living in New South Wales. From my perspective, lives of people my age are fast paced and full of tasks that present themselves all at once. For example, at the moment I’m going into my final year of high school, everything I do from now on counts towards my ATAR. I have to think about what university I want to go to and make time to visit these universities. I have to go to work to earn money primarily to pay for fuel for my car, pay for things like insurance and still keep a healthy social life and lifestyle. And one thing that tends to happen is I want to do these things at once.

Even though finances are important and money is essential, I don’t have a strong knowledge of the type of bank account I have or my bank in general and the work that my bank does. I’m with the bank I am, primarily because that’s where the rest of my family accounts and family business accounts are. But recent work experience for Beyond Bank has made me think whether this is the right approach.

Why does it matter where I bank?

Money has always been important, but it is becoming more so – school is coming to an end and the notion of university and moving out of home is something I think about more often. My friends and I want to save as much as we can for university and moving out of home while still being able to spend money on things we want like clothes, festival tickets and holidays because we don’t want to sacrifice fun experiences to’grow up’. I know that success only comes with hard work but it is important to ‘live life to the full’ at the same time, which is very important amongst my generation.

A community presence is also important. Seeing an organisation help out in the community really puts that company in people’s minds as a brand that really is about helping others and not just sponsoring an event for self-promotion, which I know is especially valued in regional or rural areas where the concept of community is very strong.

Finally, doing things when they fit in with my time is especially important and with the growth of digital banking, this can now be on my terms.

These things are important to me, and other people my age. I want them to be important to my bank too. They may not be the same things that my parents considered when they chose where they bank. With growing independence and growing financial requirements, I am now in a position to find a bank that can help me. Help me to save for the long term. Give me flexibility to ‘live life to the full’. Care about the things I care about and be available in the digital environment.

So for other teenagers, where you bank does matter. Money plays an increasing role in our lives, so think about what you want from a bank and find one that can help you achieve it. You don’t always like the same music as your parents. Sometimes you do. It is the same with banking. At the end of the day, it is important to make your own choice.

What is important to you when choosing your bank?