This Debit Card For Kids Helps Teach The Financial Lessons You Wish You'd Learned Growing Up

by Karen Tietjen
Originally Published: 

I think I speak for most (if not all) people when I say that financial mistakes happen. And because of inexperience, a lot of them happen when we’re young. For me, there was the designer jacket I had to have but never wore, the car that was a lemon, and the school loans I’m still paying off (*shudder*) — and that’s just a few. But if the right lessons are taught early on, a lot of these spending snafus can be avoided, which is why I wish Greenlight existed when I was a kid.

Greenlight is a debit card designed especially for kids and teens with an accompanying app that benefits the whole family. With these tools, kids can start learning how to save and spend responsibly, while moms and dads can monitor activity and offer guidance (because we’ve all been there).

To break it down: The debit card offers youngsters a taste of financial freedom by allowing them to make their own purchases. They’ll love using the kid-friendly app interface, which features different buckets for divvying money into “save, spend, and give” categories. Further, they can earn money by checking off parent-created chore lists (yesss!) and receiving automatic allowance payments set up by you. Not only does this help teach the value of hard work and the fulfillment of achieving financial goals, but that video game system they’ve been begging you for? Well, the power to buy it is put into their hands.


In addition to automating allowance and scheduling chores, parents can instantly transfer money to kids if they’re ever in a pinch (think: that field trip you forgot about, out-of-town sports games, or the inevitable empty gas tank emergency, if you have a teen). And if you worry about frivolous spending, fear not: You can set spending limits and even choose where the debit card is used. Spending notifications will keep you in the loop, and if the card is swiped at an unauthorized vendor, you’ll get an alert. Further, the card can be turned on and off via the app, because let’s face it, there’s a good chance your kiddo will lose it at some point or other.

While encouraging smart money management, you’ll love that Greenlight reflects the real-life banking of today. With the days of cash exchanges pretty much behind us, introducing modern-day spending tools like debit cards and banking apps will give the next generation a head start in achieving financial success.


Membership plans to Greenlight start at just $4.99/month — which is basically the price of one premium coffee (hmm, perhaps you should re-evaluate your spending habits, too?) — and the lessons learned are absolutely invaluable. Now, don’t you wish Greenlight was around when you were growing up?

This article was originally published on