I was very lucky when I was young. I’m 44 now. I had a “passbook savings account” in the 3rd grade. I got a checking account on my own when I was 12 years old. I loved having control of money. It wasn’t a lot of money but it was mine.
I had a paper route. My money. I got a job at my local church as custodian from the age of 13-18 yrs old.
When I was 18 years old, it was 1990. Kids could still have bank accounts.
But something happened. I don’t know WHEN it happened, but it happened.
Somewhere along the line, the rules changed dramatically.
There’s a VERY LIMITED bank account you can get at the age of 16/17 that isn’t yours, that is very tightly controlled and almost isn’t even worth the effort to get.
And yet: Credit cards.
Kids get credit cards ALL of the time. Pre-paid, Their parents. Credit cards are something anybody can get.
But you can’t get a stinking bank account?
It’s as if they don’t WANT people to learn financial awareness.
No point in learning it in school: You can’t go out and practice it.
The time you WANT to buy all kinds of great stuff is when you’re a teenager. But nope: you have to beg some adult.
So what’s happened? Needs fill in a vacuum. Alternative currencies.
Steam money. Amazon gift cards. Paypal accounts are easy enough for anybody to start up with up to $500 in it and no verification (last time I checked anyway).
So, it’s POSSIBLE for kids to have some useful personal finances, but it all has to be transferred through these strange channels. I’m glad these alternative outlets exist: at least it’s something.
But still: it blows my mind that a simple bank account is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to have.
I remember hearing why. Parents laundering money through their kids’ bank accounts.
Ok, fine. That happens. How much did it really happen? How many parents are money launders?
I can’t imagine it was all THAT common. It seemed like a feeble excuse to me.
So, I dunno. I saw a change for the worse happen in my own lifetime so far and the fact that kids DON’T HAVE the financial freedoms I had when I was young is, to me, crippling to society.