This post was created in partnership with American Express.
The timing of this credit card training, and the extra independence it offered our teenager, was all a perfect set-up for his first real job. He is spending the second half of the Summer working for his Uncle, in my brother’s landscaping business. He has been wanting to earn his own money: so it is time he learned responsibility, how to earn his own money, and how to pay for things he wants. My brother’s business is upstate and the original plan was for me to drive my son back and forth for this weekday job. By adding him as an Additional Card Member, we don’t have to drive him home on Friday nights! He gets a ride to the suburban train station, he buys his own ticket with his own credit card, and he returns to the city via Grand Central Station, all by himself. He is learning independence, and this dad doesn’t have to drive into rush hour traffic.
We took a trip to Grand Central Station to familiarize him with this brave new world, I explained that it is a little more complicated than the NYC transit system that he has already mastered.
Hopefully next year he can make the round trip journey on his own and I can save on gas and toll expenses, something he would not reimburse me for, but would instead be paying through his new credit card. Now that’s the real world!
AND, our teenager gets to budget out his new earnings over the school year and we can increase his budget, this is how he learns financial responsibility, budgeting, and how to work for what he wants! He will also be well on his way to being able to build a solid credit rating when he turns 18, something that I was not taught.
I am thrilled that we chose to get Paul his first credit card, and the fact that he is now an American Express Additional Card Member on my American Express account is an extra bonus because I love earning points! Please visit my first post explaining why this is the perfect choice for your child’s first credit card, to learn the benefits of starting your child’s financial education while they are teens!
We decided to set Paul’s budget at $200 per month. When Paul was younger he did not need this but with the large number of households that contain two working parents, this is a great option for their teens to be able to take care of themselves after school, without carrying cash at age 13. Teens get to learn financial responsibility month by month, which is much better than being able to apply for multiple cards when they go off to college and do not know how to handle credit. Parents get to monitor what their teens are spending money on, and teens get to enjoy their first taste of financial freedom. It is a win/win situation for families! Learn more about how to add your teen to your account as an Additional Card Member here: https://amex.co/2OfZETw