Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with American Express. All opinions are 100% my own.
It’s important to keep an eye on your teens with their spending habits. Just like it’s important to track their whereabouts when they’re teens, everything is so new and there’s a sense of independence that you start to get as you get older. Money is important, too. In College – I wish my parents had taught me this! My 1st credit card I maxed out at the local mall! It was horrible! I had to work so hard to get myself out of that hole and my parents made me work for it. I had 2 jobs that summer and it was an important life lesson.
The teen years are new for me in my parenting adventure.
I’ve always said that each new phase in parenting brings its own new set of worries and lessons to be learned. Now that I’ve reached this teen phase with my sons, it’s all about teaching life lessons and giving them a sense of independence. I partnered with American Express this summer to hone in on teaching my oldest teen son William all about financial responsibility through his Additional Card Membership. He’s a good kid and he’s a curious kid, so I knew he would be very interested and intrigued about learning about finances. I’ve seen firsthand the importance of teaching this lesson to him this summer and I can definitely say – it’s never too early to teach this to your kids.
My first year in college I got myself into some credit card debt. My parents were very smart, they had me get a job and pay it off. It was a tough lesson to learn, but I’ll tell you what – I never got myself in tremendous credit card debt again! I learned the importance of being financially responsible. I’m adamant about history not repeating itself with any of my kids, so I was thrilled to find adding my oldest as an Additional Card Member as an option to teach the importance of financial responsibility.
Throughout the summer William used his Additional Card. Since William is on a travel swim team and loves to spend time with his friends around town, there are many instances when he’s not with us and he’s on his own. Whether it’s at a restaurant, at a local drugstore, at the grocery store or at a local mall… it’s important for William to have his Additional Card on him so he can pay for things. I loved that I was able to actually monitor all of his activity and really see how smart and savvy he was in terms of what he was spending money on.
There were 4 things that I loved about this card for my son William:
- Charges for each Additional Card Member are separated out on the monthly statement for easy expense tracking. And each Card has its own account number so if it’s lost or stolen, I only need to replace that Card.
- I earn points on William’s purchases the same way I do on my own.
- I can add any Additional Card Members to my account as long as they are 13 and older (with 3 sons coming right behind him, I’ll be there soon!) to start teaching responsible spending habits and (BONUS) help those over 18 years old begin building their own credit.
- I can set up text and email alert notifications when William spends! It’s the best thing ever because I can monitor as he goes.
I have to admit, William really impressed me in terms of how he spent money. He only bought what he needed and he made sure to pay me back for everything purchased. I was really happy, but what really impressed me the most was that it opened up the discussion of money and being smart with it and responsible. William opened a bank account and even started looking into investing! I love seeing him at the age of 13 years old want to take care of his financial future in small ways right now. I wish I had done this when I was 13 years old!
Thank you to American Express for the amazing partnership. This is such an important topic for teens and it’s something that needs to really be discussed regularly at home. I’m on a mission to keep all 5 of my kids financially responsible! Learn more about how to add your teen to your account as an Additional Card Member here: