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30 Money Lessons To Teach Your Teens For Financial Literacy Month

Financial Literacy Month starts tomorrow, April 1. No fooling.

Like last year, we’re sharing tips throughout the month to help you make sure your kid is no money fool.

This year, we’re focusing on teens.

Here are 30 quick money lessons you can teach your teens one day at a time:

  1. Don’t Give Cash To Your Teens — Are you still handing cash over to your teens? Here are 6 reasons to replace those dollar bills with a reloadable prepaid card or a bank debit card.
  2. Fully Fund Your Working Teen’s Roth IRA — Here’s why it makes sense to max out your working teen’s Roth IRA, even if they already blew through all their paychecks.
  3. Audit The Household Utility Bill — Your monthly utility bill is the perfect opportunity to teach your teens about the everyday cost of living in the real world. Try this next month.
  4. Pick An ETF To Make Investing Lessons Fun And Smart — The classic way of teaching teens about investing is all wrong. Here’s a better way that’s all right.
  5. Conduct A Non-Judgmental Spending Audit — Want to teach your teens how to plug the small leaks sinking their financial ships? Try this simple, non-judgmental audit technique.
  6. Offer Teens A Savings Match With Strings Attached — Encourage your teen to save by offering a matching contribution, but attach these strings to send the right message.
  7. Bill Teens Weekly For Their Share of The Best Deal — Here’s how you can pay for your teen’s up-front or family subscription plan to get the best deal without forgoing fiscal accountability.
  8. Make Teens Pay The Sales Tax — Teens often don’t have a clue about how much things cost or that sales tax even exists. Here’s a clever and affordable way to make your teens mindful of both.
  9. Set Up A Smart Competition To Make Investing Lessons Fun — Betting on a favorite stock is fun but stupid. Buying an index fund is smart but boring. So how do you make smart investing lessons fun for teens? Here’s one way.
  10. Let Teens Gift Service Bucks Instead Of Stuff — If you want your teens to be thoughtful gift givers, but you don’t need any more stuff, here’s a solution.
  11. Nudge Your Teen’s Charitable Impulses With Giving Data — This data might be just the nudge your teens need to step up their charitable games in 2017.
  12. Use A Parent Payment Plan To Hold Teens Accountable For Big Fines — When teens incur bigger fines than their accounts can handle, parents often pick up the tab. Here’s a better solution.
  13. Stop Birthday Shopping For Your Teen’s Friends — This birthday present protocol will make your teen more responsible and thoughtful. It should save you some hassle too. Bonus.
  14. Fight Financial Bullying With Cards And Alerts — Financially bullied teens can be too intimidated, naive, or embarrassed to let Mom or Dad know. Here’s how you can proactively avoid the situation.
  15. Put A Meaningful Label On Your Teen’s Allowance — What message do you want to send whenever allowance hits your teen’s account? These allowance labels other parents are using might give you some fresh ideas.
  16. Help Your Teen Handle A Money Windfall — Discussing how to handle small windfalls with your teens now might prevent them from blowing big windfalls as an adult. (Yes, you know what I’m talking about!) Here are a few strategies to consider.
  17. Maintain A Net Worth Spreadsheet With Your Teen — A net worth spreadsheet is one of the best techniques I’ve found to help my teens understand the big picture of personal finance. How to lay out a road map to their financial independence one cell at a time.
  18. Spook Your Teens With Scary Debt Stories BEFORE College — Spooking your teens with scary debt stories before they go to college might just help them avoid becoming one afterwards.
  19. Help Your Teen’s Giving Go Far With GiveWell — Show your teens that when they give well, even small donations make a big difference.
  20. Don’t Teach Your Teens How To Write Checks — Writing checks is like an anti-skill in today’s financial world. Here’s why, and what your teens can do instead.
  21. Set The Stage For Socking Away Savings In College — If you set the savings stage early, you might just look forward to texts from your college teens about money, instead of dreading them like most parents.
  22. Tell Teens To Take More Risk — There’s one area that teens need to pump up the risk if they’d like to enjoy a healthy future: investing. Here’s a recipe for getting them started.
  23. Use Reimbursements To Teach Teens The Value Of A Dollar — Make teens active participants in the everyday expenses you’re picking up. That way, they’ll know — and appreciate — the real value of a dollar when the day comes for everything to be on their nickel.
  24. Charge Your Teens An Inconvenience Fee — If you’ve become the family servant lately, it’s time to teach the teens that your time is money.
  25. Ding Your Teens For Replacement Cards — Is your teen too cavalier about keeping track of a payment card? Consider this remedy.
  26. Teach Teens A Simple Secure PIN Strategy — Teens struggle with proper PIN management. Watch this video to learn a simple recipe you can teach your teens to create and remember secure PINs.
  27. Make Teens Journal Their Money Requests — Here’s another way (aside from a budget-based allowance) to put the brakes on impulsive extra money requests from your teens.
  28. Use Reimbursements To Condition Teens To Maintain A Spending Buffer — Here are two important personal finance lessons your teens can learn using a reimbursement process for everyday purchases.
  29. Reimburse Your Teen’s Uber And Lyft Rides — Here’s one thing I’ll always reimburse for my teens. No questions asked.
  30. Add An Emergency Fund To Your Teen’s Money Bucket List — Why wait until your teens leave the nest to teach them how to take the first baby step out of financial distress? Find out how to introduce your kids to emergency funds while they’re still young.

As Steven Wright says, “A fool and his money are soon partying.” Let’s hope that isn’t the case with your teen. But, if it happens, please reread #29!

Looking for even more quick money lessons for your kids? Subscribe here.


Ordering Prepaid Cards For Your Kids

Father and Son

Watch this video to learn everything you need to know about ordering FamZoo prepaid cards for your kids. It’s the perfect way to give your kids safe, hands-on experience managing money. You’ll learn about family registration, subscription plans, additional fees (or lack thereof!), how the cards work, age requirements, online verification, custom card labels, how we securely handle your personal info, shipping, and online activation upon delivery.

Video Transcript

Welcome to FamZoo.com where you can give your kids prepaid cards and a financial education all in one award-winning family finance app.

Here’s how you can register and order cards online in just a few minutes.

  • Visit FamZoo.com.
  • Scroll down to the sign-up section for our prepaid card accounts.
  • Click on the Order button.
  • And fill in the form to register your family.

(There’s one exception here: If you’re already a member using FamZoo IOU accounts, you can skip this registration step. Just sign into your existing family, visit the Store Tab, and click on the Order Cards link instead.)

But, if you’re new to FamZoo, back to the registration form:

  • Pick a family name.
  • Pick a member name and a password for yourself as the registering parent.
  • And finish up with some contact info.

Click Next to choose your subscription plan.

The best deal by far is the 24 month pay-in-advance plan. Whichever plan you choose, your subscription covers access for your whole family and all your cards. There are:

  • no overdraft fees,
  • no credit fees,
  • no inactivity fees,
  • no purchase fees (unless the cards are used outside the US),
  • no ATM fees (when you use an ATM in our nationwide network),
  • and there are ways to avoid card load fees (if you use a method like direct deposit).

We do charge a small one-time shipping fee for each additional card beyond your first 4. Prices, fees, and limitations are subject to change, so be sure to check our FAQ for all the latest details.

Once you pick a subscription plan, click Next to set up your primary funding card. Every family has one. It’s the special card that serves as the source of funds for all payments to your kids:

Give your primary funding card a custom label, like “Bank Of Dad” or “Bank of Mom” or “The Smith Bank”. It’ll be printed just below your name on the card.

Then pick an initial amount to be pre-loaded on your primary funding card as soon as you activate it.

Once you have money on your primary funding card, you can move funds from there to the other cards in your family with no delay, no fees. That’s right: All money movements between the cards in your family are immediate and free.

Now, click Next to start adding cards for each of your family members. You’ll see your primary funding card already appears next to your name in the Parent Cards section. If you have another parent in the family who’ll be using FamZoo, click Add Parent, and fill in the registration info. Click Add Child in the Child Cards section for each of the kids in your family. Fill in a member name, password and optional contact info.

When kids sign into FamZoo with their member names, they’ll see just their cards and their transactions. Parents, on the other hand, will see all the cards in the family and can move money around between them.

When you’re done adding family members, click Add Card next to each one who still needs a card.

Now, if the child is under 13, the parent will be the legal cardholder and the parent name will be printed on the card. In this case, parents typically personalize the card for the child with a custom label like “Suzy’s Spending” or “Johnny’s Allowance”. The custom label is printed right below the parent’s name. Nearly half of all the kids using FamZoo cards are under 13. Click on the FAQ link to learn more about how our cards work for preteens.

On the other hand, kids who are 13 or older are the legal cardholders, so their names are printed on the card. In this case, you can use the custom label beneath the name to reinforce a purpose — like “Lunch Money” — or a money message — like “Spend Wisely”. Just make sure you don’t put anything too embarrassing or uncool for your older kids.

Family members can even have multiple cards. Many parents order their kids separate cards for spending, saving, and giving to mimic the classic three jar or envelope system. But it’s OK to start simple with just one card per kid. You can always order more cards later.

Once you’ve added all the cards you’d like to start with, click Next to move to the online verification step.

For each card, we open an FDIC insured financial account. We’re required by federal law to know the identity of each account owner. To verify identity, our card processor collects the cardholder’s social security number and other personal information.

Rest assured, we transmit this sensitive data immediately and securely to our card processor. We do not store any social security numbers, card account numbers, or PINs on our own FamZoo servers. Our card processor is MasterCard Network certified and compliant with critical financial industry standards and regulations including:

  • PCI DSS,
  • SSAE 16, and
  • Federal Regulation E.

You’ll find more information about our security and privacy measures in our FAQs.

Note that each card is mailed individually in its own envelope to the postal address used to successfully verify the card’s legal owner.

When you’re done with verification, click Next to start final checkout. Select a payment method for the contents of your cart, and click Next to supply payment details.

Once payment is complete, you’ll reach the final confirmation page summarizing your order.

Be sure to check your email right away for a detailed order receipt from service@famzoo.com. Please add our email address to your contacts list to make sure you receive important communications about your cards going forward.

When you click OK on the final confirmation page and visit the Overview page, you’ll notice there are no accounts listed just yet. Not to worry. Your prepaid card accounts will appear in FamZoo as soon as you receive your cards in the mail and successfully activate them online. That’s also when the initial load amount will be credited to your primary funding card.

When all of your cards arrive in 7 to 10 business days, just sign back into FamZoo as the parent, click on the Store tab, and click on the Activate Cards link. Then just follow the instructions to complete the setup of your cards.

That’s how you register, order, and get started with FamZoo cards.

Thank you for joining the thousands of families across the US who are using FamZoo cards to give kids safe, hands-on experience managing money.

And kudos to you for helping your kids build the critical financial skills they’ll need to thrive as adults in the real world.


34 Family Finance Tips To Try With Your Youngsters, Tweens, and Teens In 2017

Resolution To Teach Kids Good Money Habits In 2017

Are you looking for fresh ways to help your kids level up their money skills in 2017?

Last year, I gathered over 300 tips and techniques for helping kids learn how to manage money responsibly. That’s a lot to sift through. So, here are 34 of my recent favorites grouped by age level. They’re all new since my round up of 21 back-to-school money tips in August.

Feeling overwhelmed by the new year already? Just pick one or two to try. Or, tackle one a month.