Teaching kids to use a debit card can really pay off.
As parents, we would never toss our car keys to our teenagers without first teaching them to drive. In fact, we begin explaining the rules of the road to our buckled bundles of joy as soon as we start shuttling them between their countless events. It’s a natural way to ease them into an important skill they’ll need later.
So, why would we send them out into the adult financial world without training them how to manage a debit card? Before they are inevitably bombarded to open a credit card, we can drive home the benefits and consequences of credit, but use a similar and safer alternative learning tool—a youth debit card.
A debit card can be a great way for kids to gain practical experience with digital money management while they are still under your guidance and protection.
They get card experience—you stay in control.
Kids can miss the fact that swiping a little plastic card equates to spending real money. Having their own debit card and account helps them understand the cost of each swipe. Your kids can see how fast money actually disappears on small things, and we can monitor and motivate our kids to make better financial decisions.
Practice makes perfect (sense).
What better time for kids to make spending mistakes than when you can monitor their activity and correct any unhealthy financial habits. When they use a debit card, you can track their spending activity from anywhere and then later discuss and re-direct their spending. And, when they do make a financial mistake, and you’ve set a spending limit, it’s the perfect learning opportunity!
Carrying around a lot of cash has risks. If your teen’s wallet is stolen, you won’t be able to recoup the lost cash. Debit cards are safer, as they protect your child’s money with a security code, and they are subject to spending limits that you can control.
No more handing out cash or worrying that they have enough for last-minute events. You can transfer money into their debit card account in seconds with a digital app, no matter where you are. Plus, it gives them the ability to not only use the card, but to get cash from an ATM while they are out.
The credit they deserve
Using a debit card won’t help with their credit report, but teaching kids to use a debit card responsibly is the first step toward building a good credit score later. If kids can keep debit card spending managed properly, that will affect their credit card habits later and help them establish a strong credit score.
If you’re looking for a youth debit card with all of these features and no maintenance fees, check out the Start Young Visa® Debit Card, the debit card that safely helps you prepare your teens (and even younger children) for the world of digital banking. The card is included with every Start Young Saving and Spending Account from Evangelical Christian Credit Union, the trusted source for Christian financial training.