Raising A Generation Of Empowered, Money-Smart Kids | Kidadl


Raising A Generation Of Empowered, Money-Smart Kids

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Do you consider yourself to be a spender or a saver? According to a study at the University of Michigan, we develop our spending and saving habits by the age of five. This means that by five years old, kids have already developed emotional responses to both spending and saving money, which may in turn hint at the kinds of financial decisions they will make in the future. So there’s no doubt that parents want to nurture healthy spending habits in children, and lay the foundations for healthy financial attitudes in later life. Sadly, learning how to manage your money isn’t on the curriculum, which means it’s up to parents to take the reins. But how? One solution might be to turn to tech. The Greenlight debit card and app was created with families in mind and helps kids earn money through chores, set saving goals and more. And even better, you can try it out for free for a month before deciding to commit.

How Do We Raise Financially-Smart Kids?

In a world that’s growing increasingly cashless, it sometimes feels like the days you’d send your child to the convenience store with a few quarters to buy a bag of chips and a can of soda are long gone. Nowadays, credit card and debit card usage is growing, with around 3 in 10 Americans now saying they don’t make any purchases with cash in a typical week, according to research from the Pew Research Center. To a lot of people, particularly in a post-pandemic society, handling a card feels safer than carrying cash around.

The Greenlight debit card and app empowers and motivates kids to be money-smart by helping them set goals and rewarding them with cashback.

How Does A Kids’ Debit Card Work?

Accompanying the Greenlight debit card is a user-friendly app with two variations; one for the child and the other for the parent. The child’s app is a simplified version and set up in line with parental controls, giving parents full access to every financial decision their kids make. 

So while children are taught the value of earning, spending, saving and giving, parents can see every financial decision they make.

Who Is Greenlight For?

It’s for parents who want to start laying the groundwork for healthy financial behaviors, and for older kids and teens who want to be more independent with their finances.

Picture this: you’ve had a busy week, you’re in a hurry on your way to school and your middle-schooler has reminded you they’re going on a field trip today and need spending money, but you don’t have any cash on you. With a kids’ debit card you can quickly add some money to their account, set up any spending limits and send them on their way.

Greenlight believes it’s never too early to start teaching your kids how to be financially smart. Its debit card is recommended for ages 8-18 but there’s no official minimum age as long as you’re comfortable with your child spending their own money.

Teens love the Greenlight debit card.

What Are Some Of Greenlight’s Features?

Greenlight is much more than just a debit card. It’s a virtual chore tracker, a piggy bank and a money app with intuitive parental controls and full visibility of kids’ spending. Via the app, parents can transfer money to kids, freeze the card if needed, set up alerts for any use of the card, set spending controls, automate payments and reward chores or other tasks.

If your child has an allowance, you can set up weekly or monthly direct debits so that they learn to receive it at a set time or day. You can also set up chore lists and attach financial incentives and other perks to each task. With tracked tasks comes a sense of responsibility that’s really important for kids and teens. They learn how to take ownership of their responsibilities and see the fruits of their labor directly in the app in the form of whatever incentive you’ve set. Along with teaching responsibility, setting up these rewards for chores also helps develop better time management and prioritization; all useful skills to bring with them to adulthood.

Kids and parents will both be able to see their balance in real time, and receive instant notifications with every transaction.

How Much Does A Greenlight Card Cost?

There are three plans available, costing between $4.99 and $9.98 per month. Each plan includes debit cards for up to five kids, an educational app with core financial tools and parental controls. Your first month is free, which means you can try it out at no cost. There’s flexibility too, as you can easily cancel your plan at any time.

If you’d like to personalize the debit card, you can add an image of your choice with a Custom Card for $9.99.

Is Greenlight Debit Card Safe And Reliable?

Greenlight is a debit card, not a credit card, which means kids can only ever spend as much money as they have, and no more. It can also be set up with contactless Apple Pay and Google Pay. 

You can use it internationally almost anywhere Mastercard is accepted, apart from at a select few locations limited by Greenlight by default. Greenlight has a list of banned ‘unsafe’ spending categories and stores, including everything from online gambling to wires and money orders. Parents can set up their own parental controls alongside these default blocks, including ATM and store-specific spend limits. These store-specific limits are super helpful if you want to give your child a few dollars to spend at somewhere like Chick-fil-A or Starbucks, as they’ll only be able to spend that amount you’ve allocated to them. It works with online stores too, so you can set limits for websites like Amazon so that you can be sure your child isn’t spending hundreds of dollars all in one place.

If a card is lost or stolen, or you just don’t want your child to be spending money at a particular time, there’s also the option to instantly switch a debit card on or off through the app.

This teenage boy uses Greenlight to keep track of his allowance.

What About Saving?

There are ways that you can save money using Greenlight too. Maybe your child wants to save up for a new video game, or your teen wants to save money to buy their friends Christmas presents; you can set up personal savings goals to incentivize them to get there.

If you’d like to contribute to their funds in a different way, you can use Parent-Paid Interest, where you pay kids an interest rate of your choice and allow them to see how compound interest affects their total savings over time.

You can set up automations like purchase round-ups too, where any transaction is rounded up to the nearest dollar and put into a savings pot.

There are a few other money-saving controls you can set up, like the 1% Cash Back incentive, which deposits 1% cash back into your child’s Greenlight savings account any time they make a purchase with their Greenlight debit card. Similarly, the Greenlight Savings Reward offers a 2% reward per year, paid monthly. Note that not all features are available on all plans.

Why Do Parents Love Greenlight?

Greenlight empowers parents to teach kids to be financially savvy in a safe, controlled, age-appropriate way. Raising money-smart children boosts their independence, teaches them to make good decisions and builds healthy attitudes towards money. They see the connection between earning, saving and spending and understand the value of money.

According to a recent Capital One CreditWise survey, 73% of Americans rank their financial situation as their top stressor in life. Laying the groundwork early on to empower kids with financial knowledge will hopefully minimize this stress later on in life, as they move into adulthood with the tools they need for a healthy financial future.



Our website offers information about budgeting, planning, savings and investments, but never personal recommendations. If you’re not sure what financial products are right for you, including investments, then please seek professional financial advice from an authorised financial advisor.

Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and the performance of investments is not guaranteed. If you do decide to invest please remember that investments can go up and down in value, so you could get back less than you put in and your capital is at risk. This article does not contain any personal recommendations for a particular course of action, service or product. Before subscribing for any services offered by Greenlight, please read the Terms & Conditions.


The debit card that teaches your kids about finance

Greenlight Financial is the debit card for kids that helps parents teach their children the value of money. Every financial decision kids make is tracked in their app, and visible to parents in the parent app. With Greenlight, children learn how to earn, spend, save and give while parents have complete visibility into every transaction. It's a great way to start teaching your children about money - and have some fun along the way.


Written By
Georgia Stone

<p>Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.</p>

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