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
Melissa Chapman says
It is great that your son gets around on his own and now uses his card to pay for things by himself. I know this feeling and my daughter is his age and could use this card.
I think that’s a great idea! I think this is a great way to teach kids more independence as well as how to properly manage their money.
Credit card training is so important and it’s somehting I hope to do with my daughter!
robin rue says
Ok, first of all I can’t believe how tall your son got. OMG!!!!!! And it’s great to give him a little independence. Hands on is the best way for him to learn how things work.
Melissa Chapman says
He really is a great looking young man and it is nice you give him independence like this.
Brianne Manz says
I totally love the teaching of financial responsibility at his age. I agree with not having to have him carrying around cash. He looks really excited for this new part of his life which I think is wonderful.
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
That sounds awesome! Such a great way to teach teens financial responsibility!
This is a wonderful teaching tool and setting a dollar limit is perfect. We would expect our children to be working around the house and doing other things to help earn their spending money.
Amber Myers says
My teenager needs this! He has autism, so he needs credit card training so he doesn’t go nuts. I won’t always be here, so I need to know he’ll be okay.
Kristine Nicole Alessandra says
I can say that it is a great idea to teach our kids not only to be independent but also to more responsible in everything most especially with their expenses.
Tomi C says
Good credit is so important and giving your kid a jumpstart will help him learn credit management and money management. Our local high school offers a finance course for teens and my kids learned so much from it and are putting those lessons to good use.
Deanna Straub says
Really great parenting. I too didn’t get “credit training” from my parents and learned the very hard and very expensive way!!
I got a credit card the minute I got to college and I think I did pretty well but I did have a little debt. Its good you all are teaching him financial responsibility early!
I think that is awesome that he is learning financial independence at a young age. And even better-you don’t have to get out in rush hour traffic in NYC!
Dennis Littley says
This is an excellent idea for teaching kids financial responsibility and how finances work. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Terri Steffes says
Such a great concept. Things are so different than when my mom handed me $100 and said, make it last!
I think this is a wonderful idea. It’s so important to give the kiddos independence.
Lisa Martin says
The thought of giving my child a credit card is scary. But great concept in teaching financial responsibility.
This is such a wonderful thing for him to do. I wish someone would have taken the time to teach me some budgeting tips when I entered college. I had to learn a lot about that stuff the hard way.
Getting a special American Express card for your child is such a great idea. My daughter is only nine but I definitely want to plan for one for her when she’s ready. It’s a wonderful way to build independence while still maintaining financial control.
Glenda Cates says
If my son was older I would get him one to teach him responsibility. But since he is too young I might need to get it for my husband who thinks money grows on trees.
I’m not looking forward to my oldest getting her first credit card. While I know how important it is to learn to balance her finances and use a card responsibly, I’m afraid she will fall into the same trap I fell into as a young adult.
Nancy at Whispered Inspirations says
This has given me a lot to think about having a teen myself. I think if you teach them to be responsible at an early age like you are doing, helps them to be less likely in credit card debt. This is priceless. Thanks!
Sounds like something I’ll have to look in to when my kids get older. They’re way to young right now for a card. I’m not exactly looking forward to this though..haha
Vyjay Rao says
It is indeed so important to get kids started on basic financial budgeting and management early on. This ensures that they value money as they grow up. This also ensures that they learn the art of saving money and judicious spending quite early.
How cool! I see independence right there. Adulting is real that’s for sure. Good parenting. Thanks for sharing!
Mary Beth Elderton says
Wonderful lessons here! A sort of “controlled independence” is critical for raising teens to be responsible adults.
Debbie P says
Hats of to you! I wish that my parents had done something like this for me when I was his age.