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Thread: Debit card to teach kids money skills?

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Debit card to teach kids money skills?

    Randomly came across this article. It suggests that it might be a good idea to give your kids an allowance using a debit card. The thought process being that as we get more and more digital with money and less cash based it's important for kids to learn to use digital based money rationally. And also that you can do things like teach them to segregate the money into different accounts, give them interest for money put into the "save" account, etc, to help them learn good habits. At first glance this seems logical but I don't have kids so I'm not sure. In some ways I feel like it's just the 40 years later version of kids my age back then being given checking accounts to teach them money responsibility. I'm curious what other people's thoughts are.

    http://money.com/money/5647706/prepa...card-for-kids/

  2. #2
    Senior Member flowerseverywhere's Avatar
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    I’m mixed n this. Kids grow up so fast these days. I like the idea of a bank account so they can see even a tiny amount of interest, and dealing with going to a store and getting change.

    Each kid is different.

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    My grandsons love cash. They’re 5 and 12. But then we’ve never offered them a card .... the 12 year old would be ready for it.

    I’d be concerned about how often debit cards are compromised. With credit cards consumers have some protections but with debit they can clear out your account before you realize it.

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    One of the things I liked about the debit card mentioned in the article is that the parents could contribute more to it as interest on the savings sub-account. An alert kid would see that (or at least be told about it) and potentially put more of their money into that sub-account, which would seem like a good thing.

    I hadn't thought about the risk of debit card compromise, which is surprising considering that I sell cyber insurance for a living, and personally would never ever use a debit card to make a purchase for just this reason, unless I did like a former coworker that maintained a specific bank account for that purpose, and only ever had a few hundred dollars in it.

    The other question I have is how long before even this idea is out of date. Everyone I know that is younger than me has been moving more and more towards apple payments and venmo and the like. Pulling out a plastic card to pay for things is a necessary evil to them but one that they expect will, in the coming years, be as irrelevant as a checkbook. I bought more checks three years ago when I used the last of my old checks, which had my address from 14 years ago on them... I expect this current batch of checks will be the last ones I ever purchase. (Just for curiosity's sake I looked and I've written two checks since January 2017 when the new checks arrived. Both to our landlord when he moved and was trying to get all his tenants to switch to wire transfer rent payments. Neither SO nor I can transfer $4,000/month that way so after a couple of awkward months we went back to having my credit union do a bill-pay check each month.)

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