As the world evolves and we move closer and closer to a paperless society, so too does the way we are able to pay for things and interact with money. Fading are the days of jars full of loose change and piggy-banks bursting with hard earned chore money. The tangible, physical currency base is quickly being replaced by countless digital and paperless payment platforms. You can pay for pretty much anything with a card or a click these days which means also reshaping how we talk to and teach our kids about money.
The good thing is, financial technology has taken our children into consideration and there are several tools that are not only kid-friendly but promote financial discipline and health as well. One of the best options is to start your kids off with a debit card to teach them about earning, saving, budgeting and spending.
Here are some of the industry favorites for debit cards for children:
FamZoo is a private family banking system designed to help parents teach kids to earn, save, spend, and donate money wisely in a safe, friendly environment.
A virtual family bank is a private online family “banking” system designed to help you teach your kids to earn, save, spend, and give money wisely. You are the “banker,” and your kids are the “customers.”
You can manage your kids’ funds in either IOU accounts, or prepaid card accounts (subject to eligibility), or a combination of the two. Your kids sign in separately to access their own accounts, while you maintain visibility and control through a shared online dashboard.
You define the rules of your private family banking system and economy in a way that matches your unique values. You can set up any combination of automated allowances, rewards for chores and odd jobs, “payroll” withholding for saving or giving, penalties for missed work, parent-paid interest on savings, expense sharing, matching contributions, budgets, loans, and much more.
Start super simple, and add sophistication gradually as your kids mature.
Greenlight lets you create a chore list that your child can work through to earn money and other perks. You can also set automatic allowance deposits on a weekly or monthly basis in addition or if you prefer giving your children a set amount of money each week. And if you ever need to fund your child’s account in a matter of minutes, you can make an instant transfer through the app.
When your child spends money, you’ll receive a notification that their card was used moments after they’ve used it. You’ll be kept in the loop and you’ll have a say in where your child is allowed to use their money, but your kids will be doing valuable learning themselves as they track their spending and saving and build money management skills. Kids with Greenlight cards can use their funds to make purchases anywhere Mastercard is accepted or even to buy stock.
If you have a child between the ages of five and 16, you may be interested in the BusyKid Visa Prepaid Spend Card.
BusyKid uses a chores-based system to allocate money for your child so that they can see exactly where their money is coming from and where it is going. You can set rates for different chores and your children can mark them complete and see when they will be paid. Parents who use BusyKid appreciate that this system instills a sense of responsibility and ownership over spending and saving in their children.
Once your children have been paid for their chores, they can choose to spend, donate, or invest their money. Investments can be made into real companies like Netflix and Nike through Stockpile and kids can donate a percentage of their earnings into the charities of their choice. All purchases and spending is approved by parents before it goes through.
BusyKid prepaid debit cards can be used online and anywhere Visa is accepted. A BusyKid annual subscription costs $19.99 including a free card. Each additional card costs $7.99 a year.
This breaks down to a monthly cost of just $1.67 for one child or $2.33/month for two.
The gohenry debit card is designed for kids between the ages of six and 18 years old, but it’s best for parents that want to start teaching their children young about the importance of smart budgeting.
The gohenry app lets you set up an automatic weekly allowance for your child and you can also add chores and set a price for these to let them earn more. Then, you set limits on how much your child can spend in a given week or trip and change these as needed. Your child can save, spend, or donate their money to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. They can set as many savings goals as they want for larger purchases.
A gohenry account costs $3.99 per month per child. This card is a little pricier than some of the others on this list because fees are charged per child, but it’s good for small families. These cards can be used online or anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
There are plenty of options when it comes to teaching good spending habits to the next generation and we encourage you to start having those conversations from as young an age as possible.