Tuesday Morning Tidy: Greenlight Debit Cards for Kids
With my children home around the clock the last five months, there’s been a constant loop of tasks I run through several times a day. These are more than likely “to dos” connected to cleaning and tidying the house. It’s been an adjustment and exhausting while I work full-time from home.
Last month, my friend introduced me to Greenlight; an app that issues and manages debit cards for kids. And let me tell you, I am already hooked! I ask my daughters on a daily basis, with several reminders, to help around the house by unloading the dishwasher, feeding the cat, picking up their rooms, putting away their clean laundry...the list goes on and on. With Greenlight, I can instantly incentivize the completion of chores with payment in any amount I deem appropriate.
Greenlight is easy to set-up. Parents download the Greenlight app and then enter their personal information, bank account and children's names and information. As you wait to go through the bank account confirmation process, Greenlight sends debit Mastercards to your home -- one for each child. (Parents can upgrade by personalizing their kids' cards with a picture, but I didn’t find it necessary and bypassed the fee.)
Through the app, parents upload money from their bank account to their Parent Wallet and then use that money to transfer to their children’s accounts. Parents can also remove money just as easily, which makes the threats a little more real when they ignore requests. Parents can set parameters on how much their children spend and save and how much can be spent on certain types of purchases (ATM, gas station, online gaming, etc.) Parents can also add specific stores or categories to the list. (Starbucks comes to mind.) In addition, kids can give to charitable organizations by using money in their Give account, which they can combine with their Spend Anywhere balance. Moreover, their Greenlight cards work just like any other debit card. Kids can also download the app to their devices to manage their money, but they won’t have the parental controls.
Greenlight is a great resource for parents when teaching personal responsibility, but just as importantly, it teaches lessons in financial responsibility and charitable giving. Teenagers and tweens can learn how to save, hold themselves accountable (with their parents' help) as to where they spend their money and make their own purchases.
I highly recommend Greenlight to families with teenagers and tweens. While it’s an innovative parenting app, it’s also empowering to your growing children.