Why is it important to teach your kids about money when they’re young? How do you teach your kids about money in a day and age where everything is moving digital? I still have an 11 and 13-year-old at home who I need to educate on spending, saving, and investing. I’ve found a great tool that anyone can use to teach their kids about money—Greenlight. Learn all about it in this episode of Best in Wealth!
NOTE: I am not an affiliate of or compensated by Greenlight. I simply think it’s a great tool to teach your kids how to be financially responsible.
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Outline of This Episode
[1:13] Visiting my daughter in Washington, D.C.
[3:40] Teaching my 23-year-old financial responsibility
[8:49] Use the “Greenlight” app to teach your kids about money
How to teach your kids about money in a digital world
I have a 23-year-old, a 13-year-old, and an 11-year-old daughter. Life was a lot different when my 23-year-old was younger. I carried more cash at the time. I wanted to teach my oldest daughter how to save, spend, give, and how to invest. Dave Ramsey—who has been instrumental in getting my family out of debt—offers “Financial Peace Junior” to help teach kids how to manage money. It’s exactly what I used with my oldest daughter. When she earned money, it was allocated between spending, saving, and giving.
When her savings account was large enough, we opened up a brokerage account for her to start investing money. She was investing in mutual funds when she was 12 years old. I haven’t done as good of a job with my 11 and 13-year-old daughters. I decided to put an end to that. But the problem is that I don’t carry cash anymore. Secondly, when I do finally give my kids money, they end up spending everything that they’re making because I’m not equipping them with mechanisms to save and give.
We’ve told all of our kids that if they want a car they have to save up money to buy it themselves. We are willing to match $1 for each $1 they save to buy their first car. My 23-year-old saved $2,000 and we matched it and got her a $4,000 Toyota Corolla. If my 11 and 13-year-old don’t save money, they won’t get money. So they need to start now. So what am I using to teach them how to be financially responsible? Greenlight.
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Why you need to use the app “Greenlight”
Here’s why I think you should sign up for this app.
When you sign up, you have to link your bank account. Once you do that, you can move money from your checking account into the Greenlight account, where you can set up an individual account for each of your kids. Your kids can download the same app on their phones. With the basic Greenlight plan, your kids will have access to a spending account and a savings account. You can also give right from the app.
So I can take money from my checking account and transfer it into the master account. Last Friday, my daughter Eva spent 7 hours cleaning the house. We had a conversation about how the money would be allocated and most of it went into her savings. So I took the money I wanted to give her and assigned it between her savings and spending account. When I moved the money, she immediately got a text to check her app because she got paid.
Other features of the Greenlight app
What’s better? Greenlight will send you a debit card for your child that’s accepted anywhere Mastercard is accepted (the card is customizable, too). Secondly, as the parent, you can limit what your child spends at any one place. It’s still their debit card but we can put constraints on it. This debit card is the next best thing compared to cash.
The cheapest service is $4.99 a month. For our lifestyle, this is the easiest way to teach my kids about money in the modern world. I’m fine with paying $4.99 a month for the ease of use. For $7.98 a month, you can upgrade to Greenlight + Invest which allows your kids to begin investing in the app. Lastly, for Greenlight Max, you can pay $9.98 to earn cashback, identity theft protection, purchase protection, and more. For now, we’re fine utilizing the spending, giving, and saving features.
What else can the app do? I can assign and set up a weekly allowance that is automatically deposited into my kid’s accounts and is allocated between spending, saving, and giving. You can even assign chores to your kids in the app. If I want my daughter to sweep the floor or do the dishes, I can assign it, and she can check it when it’s complete. I can check the chore complete on my end and it will send her the money. It’s that simple. I can also assign an interest rate to their savings account as if they had it in a regular bank. I’ll gladly give them a higher interest rate than the best interest rate at an online bank.
These likely aren’t all of the features of the Greenlight app. I’m just getting started with it and am sure I have more to learn. But I had to share this with my listeners. It seems like a great tool to teach your kids the basics of good finances.
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The Best In Wealth Podcast is hosted by Scott Wellens. Scott Wellens is the principal at Fortress Planning Group. Fortress Planning Group is a registered investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities Act of Wisconsin in accordance and compliance with securities laws and regulations. Fortress Planning Group does not render or offer to render personalized investment or tax advice through the Best In Wealth Podcast. The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, investment or legal advice.