Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Helping Teens Learn Financial Responsibility

Pudding Pie has some years to go before she hits her teens or even her tweens, but I have friends who are parents to kids in these age groups, and I am witnessing them struggle with the delicate balance between giving their kids some financial independence while at the same time protecting themselves from getting an unwelcome surprise when they check the balance in their bank accounts.

Today our tweens and teens want, indeed expect, access to plastic. However, things go south quickly when these well-intentioned but inexperienced young adults overspend their set allowances - and this is especially true right now with practically everyone feeling the economic pinch.

To help balance the desire of our kids with the balance in our checking accounts, Discover Card has come up with a truly innovative debit card called Current by Discover Card, designed especially for kids ages 13 to 18. The Current Card helps us teach our kids how to manage spending.

Like car companies that allow you to set the maximum speed limit on your teen's car, Current by Discover Card puts parents in control by letting them set (daily, weekly, monthly) spending limits, block certain merchant categories (like ATMs and liquor stores) and track teen spending online or through email and text message alerts.

Plus, because it's a debit card product, the card stops working when the limit is reached without incurring any additional fees, which protects teens from overspending.

As parents, we have the responsibility to discuss wise spending habits as a family and Discover Card has created an online resource, to help us talk with our kids about managing and spending money, and the importance of setting limits.

The Current by Discover Card provides kids with access to money in the way they want it while still giving parents what they need - independent spending by their kids without debt or incurring hidden fees. No more unwelcome surprises on your credit card statements!

Review courtesy of Mom Central

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