Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Have you talked with your family about Safe spending? If you have teenagers or college-bound kids, they need guidance how to go about practicing safe spending habits, budgeting, saving and building credit. When my son was in school, they never taught students financial responsibility. It's up to us as parents to teach them about financial responsibility.
I'm always talking to my kids about safe spending. We have talked about saving money for big ticket items, rather then charging them. Saving money for emergencies and making sure you have some money saved for back up. I have never actually given my kids credit cards, but we have given them gift cards with a set dollar amount and let them decide how to manage it.
Protect Your Teens or College Kids From a Budget BlowoutThere are expenses you plan for, especially if your kids are in college. They will have expenses for food, books, laundry, going out with friends and other extras that add up fast. The best way is to help them set up a budget, keeping track of their monthy bank accounts, debit and credit card statements. This would be a great time to help them get organized and introduce them to a filing system that will work for them. Many banks and card companies offer free online account management tools.
Keep Your Teens Close and Their Spending CloserDid you know that under the CARD act, that your teens can't qualify for credit cards until age 21 or have an income to back it up? You may want to add them to a card of yours as a authorized user. One thing you should make sure of, is that the card company establishes a reasonable credit limit for their card and that they will report the history of bill payment to the credit bureaus under your teenagers or college students name. So, by the time you kids are out of college they will have a good credit history, as long as they have paid their bill on time.
Having a credit card linked to your account for your college student is great for emergencies. You can give the American Express Additional Card with Custom Limits. This way you can quickly raise their spending limit to additional funds, if needed, by simply going online.
Talking To Your College Students About Spending TemptationsWe have all been their, with spending temptations. College students can get carried away and think that they can charge everything, but then the dreaded bill comes at the end of the month and the shock value will set in. You need to talk to your kids about spending temptations and what they might experience, encourage them to spend wisely.
Be sure to keep your eyes open for any spending temptations, check your bill and make sure they pay it, not you.
More than half of parents (57%) with kids in high school and college give schools below average or failing grades in teaching kids responsible spending, with more than one-third (35%) giving a straight out ‘F’. This is compared to 37% of parents who give schools an ‘A’ or ‘B’ for teaching safe sex, according to a recent American Express Survey.
This is just a few of the Financial Tips from American Express. To read all of the “Practice Safe Spend” tips, please visit: financialtools.americanexpress.com.
Practice Safe Spend Tips & Advice
Smart Cookies: Five Best Money Resolutions We Ever Made
Smart Cookies Holiday Shopping & Spending Tips
Smart Cookies: Starting a Get Out of Debt Plan
Jean Chatzky: Tips for Your College Student
Jean Chatzky: Tips for Your High-Schooler
Jean Chatzky: Tips for Your Middle-Schooler