Balancing a new life, checkbook

By Jillian Marshall

Balancing a new life, checkbook

June 21, 2013 Updated Jun 21, 2013 at 11:43 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Hundreds of high school students will receive their diplomas this weekend. Along with getting a diploma, they're faced with handling their own money, many for the first time.

According to a study by ING Direct, 87 percent of teens say they don't know much about personal finance.

M&T bank branch manager LoriAnne Welch says there's three keys for students to be financially independent.

The first: Open a checking account. Welch says to look for accounts focused around students.

Second, open a credit card with parents to help establish credit.

"Right now, as a young person going into the world, they are a blank slate. The decisions they make regarding their credit now can really carry with them for a long period of time," Welch said.

She also recommends talking to children early and often about money and managing money.

"As a student they don't have a lot of funds, we want to make sure that we are helping them protect what they have," Welch said.

Welch also says to pay attention to ATM and overdraft fees.