If you are wanting to help your kid learn financial responsibility than the Greenlight debit card might be a great option! I have been using this with my son for four months, and let me tell you, it is AMAZING! Greenlight is a debit card for kids, that parents can manage from their phone! This is a great way to teach your child about finances and still have flexible parental control!
What is so neat with the Greenlight debit card, is that parents can pick the stores your child is allowed to spend money at! For example, you only want to allow them at first to buy something from the book store, you can set their account up, so they can only spend money using their card there! That is why they call this card the Greenlight, parents have to give the “green light to go”, for them to use the card! You can select stores in your area, for your child that are approved to spend money at, and they can only use the card at these stores. Any other stores will decline the card. As your child learns and grows, you can also allocate money to be used anywhere. My son recently took both his grandmothers out for ice cream, and used his “spend anywhere” money to do so!
How the Greenlight Card Works
You can put a set amount of money into each category on the card, that only the parent controls, and you can adjust this at any time! This is a great way for them to learn responsibility, and they will learn to pay attention to the balance on their card, so they know how much they can spend.
The parent and the kid both can download the app on their smartphones, so the kid and the parent both know the balance on the card. Only the parent can control the balance and where the child can spend the money though. I love this, because instead of giving my son a card, with no limits and no way to manage it, this allows me to slowly teach and allow him to learn about financial responsibility!
On your phone under the app settings, you can customize the notifications to fit your needs as well. If you want to know each time your child spends money, you can select that. I like that option so I can kind of stay on top of how much he is spending, and see how he is utilizing his money! What amazes me is that, while he is still at the register completing a transaction, my phone buzzes, telling me my child’s total spent and at what store he spent it at! When I see his balance is getting low, I have the choice to load more money or to wait. For our family, our child has to earn money (we don’t just give him money as this teaches nothing), he can do chores, get great grades on his report cards, and birthdays!
I love the idea of uploading my kid’s allowance to the card, and they can spend it but when it is gone, they have to wait for their next time they get allowance. This teaches them that they have to ration their money and to spend a little here and there so that they have money for awhile and don’t spend it all in one day!
Gives Kid A Little Financial Freedom and Allows Parents to Manage The Card
You can sign up to five kids per family, which is really nice for larger families. You can monitor it just the same, so it allows you to see where the money is being spent. There is a fee to use the card each month, $4.99 per family.
I truly think this is an awesome way to let your kid slowly dip their feet into spending money on their own! It gives the parents a little peace of mind to know exactly where and when they are spending money, and you can see how responsible your child is. If your kid spends their money in one day, they will quickly learn about “smart spending”. Start teaching your kids while they are young. When they are older, questions like: “what are some good practices for getting qualified for a loan?” may appear. Teach them strategies and let them know that you are there to help them learn how to be wise with their money and to gain financial independence.
Photo Credit: Greenlight