The Best Way to Teach Kids About Money

Having a hard time deciding the best way to teach your kids about money?  Are they ready to have a real allowance, ready to get that first part time job, or do they already have a little income from babysitting, yard mowing, or something else?  Have you ever given them your debit or credit card to buy something over the internet?  If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, and you haven’t already done so, it’s time to teach your kids how to save, budget, and spend wisely!

These days, you would be amazed at how many young people have absolutely no idea how to handle money.  They don’t have checking accounts, they don’t have savings accounts, and they are accustomed to just grabbing Mom or Dad’s debit/credit card when they need something.  Not only do they have no idea how to spend money, but lots of kids have no idea how to make that money in the first place!

Don’t let your kids end up like these young people – there is a better way to teach your children how to handle money in today’s financial world.

While you can take them to the bank and help them to open a conventional checking or savings account, it’s probably not going to be the best way to teach your children how to handle money.

In the first place, unless you’re willing to hand them their own debit card to carry around, they likely won’t have access to the money in the account except during normal banking business hours, you’d probably have to try and get them there, and that’s not always convenient for you!

Secondly, because you will have to sign on their accounts, if they overdraw their account, the bank can withdraw that money from YOUR bank account, even if it’s a separate account (it’s true, read the fine print).

So, without inconveniencing yourself or risking your own finances, what is the best way to teach your kids about money?

Get them each a prepaid / debit card!  That’s right – sign up for a prepaid / debit card in your name, and then set your child up as an additional cardholder on the account.  (Since most prepaid options only allow one additional cardholder per account, you will need to set up a separate card/account for each child.)

In doing it this way, each child will have an account that can be set up and accessed via an online interface that looks remarkably like a bank account, and a prepaid card that can be reloaded as needed, without a significant risk to your own finances.  He or she can load the card with that babysitting money, that lawn mowing money, or you can just put their allowance on the card, and the money is available when they need it.

No carrying cash.  No trips to the bank.  No “losing” his/her lunch money, book fee money, or allowance.  And best of all, no overspending!  After all – with prepaid cards, you can’t usually spend more than you have available on the card, and they’re great for shopping online (or downloading music, or buying tokens for online games, or whatever else kids do online these days).

So go ahead, start your young adult on his/her way financially!

Check out all of our prepaid cards today!

The Best Credit Card for Fair Credit

So, you’ve reached a milestone in your journey to raise your credit score… you’ve gone from bad credit to fair credit.  Financial doors are beginning to open with your new level of credit, but what is the best credit card to have if you have a fair credit rating?

You know, one of the best days of my financial life was when I looked at my credit report and found out that I had finally managed to raise my credit score out of the “bad” credit range and reach the magic number that put me in the “fair” credit range.  (For those of you who have perfect credit and are wondering how the bad credit happened in the first place, trust me, it’s not as difficult to lose that great score.)  In fact, there are millions of people in this country whose credit went from excellent to bad during the last recession.

They get laid off from their job and suddenly they can’t pay the bills…the mortgage, the car payment, the utilities, even the grocery bills.  So, they had to skip a few credit card bills, pay the car payment a little late…

A family member suffers an accident or an injury… someone gets sick… the doctor bills add up, and suddenly it’s easy to be drowning in debt…

It happens.  And it can wreck your credit score in just a few short months.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot longer to rebuild your credit score than it does for it to drop in the first place, and that’s why it’s such a milestone when you finally see that fair credit rating on your credit report.  Simply stated, it opens doors financially.  Once again, owning a home might be possible, a new car might not be out of the question, or you may be able to qualify for an actual credit card again.