When was the last time you carried cash in your wallet?
If you’re like the majority of Americans, carrying cash around these days is almost unheard of. For years, we’ve been relying solely on the convenient use of debit and credit cards, and more recently, have begun taking advantage of and using our smartphones as payment devices. Using debit cards and phone payment apps make things simple, secure, and always within our reach.
But what happens when we need to give our ‘tweens or teenagers money?
It seems they always need money for buying something, or doing something- gas, chores, movies, field trips, fast food, or even stopping off at the grocery store to pick up something for you.
Are you comfortable handing over your debit card to them?
What about linking the family’s sole bank account up to several payments apps on their smartphone?
And how do we as parents go about teaching our teens and ‘tweens about financial responsibility, budgeting, and the true value of a dollar if we’re just handing over our plastic without transparency, consequence, or instruction?
All these things beg the question, how do we safely expose our kids to the proper use of debit cards to ensure they grow into fiscally smart adults, and is there an option out there where parents and teens can work together to manage money, all while keeping the family’s bank account secure?
Luckily, there is!
It’s called Current, and it’s a debit card designed solely for ‘tweens, teens, and their parents. This digital wallet is full of innovative features that not only allow for ease of transferring money from parent to teen, but it does so while also offering features that allow for financial responsibility instruction. Not only does your kid now have access to money via their own debit card, but along the way they’ll be learning how to manage it.
Here are some of the features you can do with the Current card, and a little more about how it all works.
Parents set up a “parent” Current account linked to the bank account of their choice, and fund the account with however much they want choose. (Don’t worry, only parents will have this access.) Current then issues your teen or ‘tween their very own Current Visa debit card. (More than one child? No problem- they each can have their own card.) It arrives with a zero balance, and stays that way until a parent “loads” or adds funds to that card from the parent’s Current account. For example, as a parent, I could keep $100 in my parent Current account, and when needed, I can transfer any of that amount to my teen’s Current card instantly. Transfers can be done quickly and easily through the Current app on any mobile device or tablet, or on your laptop or desktop computer. It’s that simple- you’re in charge of adding money to your kid’s cards from your parent account.
So what makes Current different from just purchasing a prepaid Visa debit card, and reloading it as needed?
Glad you asked, because this is where things get really cool, both for you and your teen!
As the parent, you will have a variety of controls at your fingertips when it comes to loading money on your teen’s card. You can set up allowances, create a chore list (as well as how much completion of each chore will be paid to your teen), and most importantly, delineate and fund specific spending categories, so that money you send them for gas, can only be spent on gas. Brilliant!
Other categories you can set up include groceries, ATMs, travel (flight, rental cars), and bars and nightclubs. Once categories are created, you can choose to fund them how you see fit, as well as set limits on what can be spent and/or withdrawn from each of them.
Your teen will also have several options available to them on their version of the app. They can request money, request a chore to earn money, set up a separate “savings” account portion of their Current account, as well as donate to charity right from the app. Essentially, they have spending, saving, and giving functions. All of those features put your teen in charge of tracking, saving, donating, and spending their own money- all life skills that are vital to financial freedom.
Both you and your teen can work together to see exactly where money goes, and at any time, parents can pause use of the card instantly in case of theft or lost card, or for any other reason a parent sees fit.
There is no easier, safer, or more instantly reliable and intelligent way to put money in your teenager’s or ‘tween’s hands, while also providing the chance to learn valuable spending and saving concepts.
Current has changed the way my family handles money with our kids, and I know it can do the same for you. It will give you piece of mind, and take one less worry off your list. And can’t all parents of teenagers use a little more of that?
More questions? Get all the facts here.