This post was created in partnership with American Express. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Given that money and finances are such a crucial part of life, it’s baffling that more lessons on financial responsibility aren’t taught in schools. All that means is that it’s up to us parents to pick up the slack. At the end of the day, what we teach our children about money will largely depend on our own experiences with finances.
Confession time: I’ve never been fantastic at budgeting or being financially responsible. While I’ve had a job ever since I was legally able to work, I was not the best “saver” and I had (have!) champagne taste. That said, my parents tried their best to instill work-ethic and the concept of earning potential in me via tried and true strategies like allowance. I distinctly remember having to complete my set of chores (including cleaning the bathrooms, ugh) weekly, so that I could get my bi-weekly allowance to do with whatever I pleased (within teenage limits, of course).
One story that my mom loves to tell (still, to this day) is about how she would give my sister and I money to purchase our city bus pass; we had a choice: we could either use the money to buy the bus pass, or decide to walk to school and just purchase a strip of bus tickets in the event that the weather was bad. Lo and behold, once we got the cash in hand, we quickly opted to walk – go figure! It was great lesson in weighing the pros and cons of making a purchase, and appreciating the value of money.
Fast forward to 2018 and here I am with a rising high schooler of my own. She is actually the most responsible of my three kids and approached my husband and I about earning an allowance a couple of years ago. She’s very good about completing her chores and saving (and spending!) and recently she’s been having to “pay us back” using her cash allowance savings so that she can order items online using our credit cards. Let’s face it – it’s a different time than when we were teens! We didn’t have big online brands so we didn’t have the same need for an online payment option as these kids do today.
Enter the American Express Additional Card. If you’re an American Express account holder, you can add your teen to your account as an Additional Card Member. You’ll receive a separate card, tied to your account, for your teen that you can monitor. Adding your child as an Additional Card Member is great way to teach kids financial independence and responsibility, while being able to set alerts and spending budgets. You can add Additional Card Members from ages 13 and older to your account to start teaching responsible spending habits and help those over 18 years old begin building their own credit.
Here’s the part that I like the most: you can set a monthly budget – as well as alerts, so that I can keep on top of their spending. What’s also really cool is that charges for each Additional Card Member on your account are separated on your monthly statement for easy expense tracking. And each Card has its own account number so if it’s lost or stolen, you only need to replace that Card. Bonus! You’ll earn rewards for purchases made by your Additional Card Members.
Teaching financially responsible habits, earning points faster, and avoiding countless trips to the mall with a gaggle of teens? Now that’s what I call awesome parenting. Learn more about how to add your teen to your account as an Additional Card Member here: https://amex.co/2njaoF2