It’s hard to believe that my oldest son entered high school this year. Along with the increase in homework has come a major increase in requests to go out with friends, do things by himself and of course appear to be the one funding his high school lifestyle. For a while, we just had him come to us and ask for money when he needed it and we’d decide whether or not to give it to him. However, I quickly discovered that I had no way to know exactly where the funds were going and I had an even harder time tracking what he’d asked for and what we’d given him. After learning that he’s too young to get a debit card at our bank and not really wanting him to have one that’s attached to our account anyway, I went on the search for the best debit card for teens as well as some tips for teaching teens financial responsibility. After a little research and a lot of thought, we settled on some easy ways to help teach our teen financial responsibility in a totally simple yet fun way!
So, first I guess it’s important to understand why we wanted our teen to learn how to manage his own money. It’s hard for me to even say but I’ve got less than four years left with him before he’s out on his own (OMG!) which means that I’ve got less than four years to make sure that he’s prepared to manage money on his own and make smart decisions that he can be proud of. With this in mind, I was determined to find ways to not only show him how to effectively manage his money but also to help him track his spending, plan his budget and begin to see what managing his own finances is all about. To do this, I took three simple steps.
Get the Best Debit Card for Teens
I’ll be the first to admit that I never carry cash. In fact, in the digital world we live in, I rarely even see cash used anymore. For me, cash gets lost. It’s hard to track. For my teen, I often think it’s seen as just a piece of paper. That’s why we decided to get him Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids. Not only does this easy-to-use debit card give him financial freedom to make purchases when he’s on the go but it’s the perfect teaching tool for me as a mom as I help him learn how to be financial responsible.
With the Greenlight debit card, he has the freedom to make purchases while he’s on the go and I have control over where he’s spending his money and what he’s spending it on. With him carrying the Greenlight debit card and both of us downloading the Greenlight app for our phones, we’re both able to communicate about money in a new and creative way that gives him responsibility but still allows me to be in control.
With my parent app, I was able to add money to our account. In fact, I can even use their convenient automated allowance feature to set up distribution of his monthly allowance without even having to think about it! I just set it and forget it and on a certain day of the month, his funds are added to our account. BUT that doesn’t mean that he just has access to whatever he wants whenever he wants it. With the Greenlight app, I’m in control of the funds and am able to choose not only where he can spend money but also how much he can spend! By choosing certain stores or giving him the option to “Spend Anywhere”, I’m helping him to use his debit card in the smartest ways.
Now, I’ll say that the ability to restrict his spending to certain stores and see what he’s spending where is pretty cool but probably my favorite Greenlight feature is that he can instantly request money and I can either decline, edit the amount or approve his request. So, on those days when he’s out with friends and they suddenly decide they want to go out for dinner and a movie, all he has to do is request more money in his account and I receive an instant notification.
When I receive his request, I can respond to it with the touch of a button, add a message and fund his card instantly so that he can go on with his day without having to wait for me to run money to him.
I seriously can’t believe how much easier it’s been to help him learn to manage his money using the Greenlight debit card! In fact, I don’t even have the worries anymore about what he’s spending, where he’s spending it or even if his money is going to fall out of his pocket! With his own card and unique pin in addition to my ability to limit funding, Greenlight debit card is without a doubt the best way I’ve found to teach my teen financial responsibility while teaching him the basics of using a debit card.
Use a Printable Budget Planner
While I’m able to help him manage his funds using the Greenlight debit card and app, we’ve also started creating a monthly budget and using a Printable Teen Budgeting Worksheet. This easy to use worksheet is super simplified for those just learning to create a budget and has spaces for allowances and paychecks (if they have a job) as well as for the areas that teens are most likely to spend in.
By simply writing down the expenses that he will have each and every month and then setting limits on what he’s going to spend, he’s become much more aware of his spending habits.
Pair that with the ability to monitor and control spending with is Greenlight debit card and we’re being able to make huge strides in his financial education! In addition to spending smarter, he’s also learning to save more! Total parenting win, right?
Let Them Discover the Upside (and Downside) or Living on a Budget
With his Greenlight debit card and Printable Teen Budget Worksheet, my son is learning not only to create a budget but to live within it. He’s discovering that in the real world, when money runs out, sacrifices have to be made. On the flip side, he’s learning that by budgeting smarter and paying attention to where he’s spending by tracking it with the Greenlight app, he can save up for special occasions (like his upcoming Christmas formal).
He’s getting hands on experience with setting budgets and controlling money, all with mom and dad overseeing his decision and being close at hand to help!
I don’t know that I’ll ever be really ready for him to grow up but with the Greenlight debit card and app, I’m feeling much better about his ability to make smart financial choices! I know that through it’s use, he’s getting a foundation that helps teach him the value of money while allowing him the freedom to manage funds himself and begin to take control of his finances.
If you have a tween or teen that needs to learn more about smart money management, you need the Greenlight debit card and app, available for iOS and Andriod! There’s never been a better time to try it because right now you can take advantage of the special 30-day trial* to see if it is a good fit for your family and get a $20 deposit bonus when you sign up after the trial!
*Sign up for Greenlight before 10/30 and they’ll deposit a $20 bonus* into your account after the 30-day free trial ends! *deposit bonus made approximately two weeks after free trial ends*
So what are you waiting for? Find out more about the Greenlight debit card today and then download the app to start helping your tween or teen learn financial responsibility in the very best way!
Tell me, who in your family would benefit from the convenience and freedom of the Greenlight debit card and app?