Money management is one of the most important life skills that anyone can attain, but have you ever wondered what the best way to introduce children to the world of money, credit cards and debit cards is?
Some parents open a bank account for their kids and go about the tutorial that way. Others might take a class at a community college with their kids when they’re old enough to fully comprehend proper money management. Then there are the parents who will rely on the education system to do this. A handful of parents might not even intervene at all, and let their kids learn from their mistakes themselves.
Whatever the case, most experts agree that it should be you — the parent — that kick starts any conversation about money and finances with your kids. The reasoning? If you don’t, someone else will — and that someone else’s advice might not be a money management strategy that you approve of.
On this note, we thought it would be fitting to introduce a new, child-friendly way to help your children learn about money and financial responsibility. It’s a startup, Greenlight, and the product is actually a debit card, but for kids.
So just what is Greenlight? Like we said above, it’s a debit card — but for kids. That means that parents have all of the control over it. Essentially, it’s the parents that load money onto it via a parental control feature. It’s the parents that set up the account and any sub-accounts (i.e., spending, savings, donate, etc.), and it’s the parents that can set controls, real-time alerts and more to see how and how well their kids are managing the money they’ve loaded onto it. Parents can even set chore functions via the system, which will reward kids with money when the respective task is completed (kind of like a digital allowance feature). This is all controlled via a mobile app.
The goal of Greenlight is so that kids are better able to learn how to manage their money and amount balances in the account. The platform even has a built-in interest account and parents are able to set the interest rate on it. This feature allows their kids to learn how to invest and save money, and see the role interest rates play on total overall balances over time. What’s more is that the app costs $5 a month to use, is free to try out, and there are no additional fees for money transfers, withdrawals, etc. Just think of Greenlight as a way to give your kids real-world money management experience, but in a low-risk, high-reward type of way. They’ll get a real, physical debit card to use while they’re out and about at stores, and parents can monitor spending and savings every step of the way.
Greenlight is a startup, but having already raised about $54 billion in Series B funding, it’s likely not going anywhere anytime soon — and that’s good news for both parents interested in giving their kids a hands-on financial tutorial and kids looking to learn the ropes of money management.
So, say good bye to the coin jar you throw spare change in for your kids, smash the piggy bank, and forget about the starter savings account. Greenlight represents an alternative to all three — and a solution that’s arguably much better and more effective than anything else you could be doing right now.
Like we said in the opening, if you don’t talk to your kids about money, somebody else is going to do it. Do you really trust someone other than you and/or your spouse to carry out this important talking point? You can go here if you want to learn more about it.