Give Your Child the ‘Greenlight’ to Start Saving & Learning

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If you’re looking for a way to teach your teen about managing money & saving while letting them apply that knowledge, you’ll find the website/app Greenlight much to your liking.

Many parents throw their kids into the deep end of the pool by giving them a credit card, often when they head off to college. Unfortunately, most of these teens have yet to gain practical experience with credit, and many have never balanced a checkbook.

Greenlight lets kids start in the shallow end of the pool and learn about money management by providing a debit card, not a credit card.

If you’ve ever used a debit card before, you’re familiar that you can only spend the amount of money in your account, not a penny more. It’s like paying cash; only you use plastic instead of paper.

How Greenlight Works

The Greenlight debit card is linked to a savings account provided by Community Federal Savings Bank, which is FDIC insured.

The debit card can be used to pay for purchases not exceeding the balance in the savings account. For example, if your son wants a new pair of Air Jordans costing $150, he’ll need at least that much in his savings account for the retailer to approve the debit card purchase.

You can deposit funds in the savings account in several ways:

  • Online transfer from an outside checking or savings account
  • Automatic withdrawal from a paycheck (yours or your teen’s)
  • Deposits from friends and family

All purchases earn a cashback bonus of 1%, which is deposited directly into the savings account. In addition, savings accounts can earn up to 5% interest depending on the Greenlight program you’re enrolled in.

Three Greenlight Plans to Choose From

With Greenlight, you choose one of three available plans and pay the associated monthly fee.

Greenlight Core: $4.99/month gives you a debit card, 1% interest on savings, an educational app for kids, parental controls, credit for parents, a cashback bonus, and more.

Greenlight Max: $9.98/month provides a Greenlight Black Card, 2% interest on savings, and everything else the Core program offers.

Greenlight Infinity: $14.98/month gets you the Greenlight Black Card, 5% on savings, protection plans, location sharing, crash detection, and all of the benefits the other plans provide.

Greenlight offers a one-month free trial.

Why You and Your Child Will Love Greenlight

Very few teens don’t relish the thought of pulling out the plastic in front of their friends when they are out having fun.

Look at the teen girl on the home page of the Greenlight website. Her confidence and smile represent how teens look and feel the first time they use a credit or debit card.

Parents love Greenlight not only because of its convenience but also because it is a great educational tool for kids to learn about money.

The Greenlight Learning Center, which comes with whichever plan you choose, has sections on financial literacy, Chores 101, Earn 101, a Help Center, a monthly blog for kids about money, and more.

The Learning Center is in keeping with Greenlights’ Mission Statement: “Shine a light on the world of money for families and empower parents to raise financially-smart kids.”

Greenlight: A Family Affair

Greenlight offers families a chance to learn about money together. Your family can watch educational videos, review monthly statements and spending, and develop a monthly budget – together.

Many parents will also benefit from the educational side of Greenlight, including learning about investments, compound interest, how mutual funds work, and much more.

If your savings account balance is consistently $1,000 or less, you’re probably better off choosing the Core plan and earning 1% interest since it will be a “put and take” account you use regularly.

If you plan on using Greenlight primarily as a savings tool and won’t be using the debit card very often, the higher interest rates you’ll earn with the Max or Infinity plans might be a better choice.

No matter which plan you choose, your child will enjoy the lifetime benefits of having a sound financial education at an early age and not learning how to handle money by trial and error.

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