My sixteen year old daughter has been looking for a job all summer long. She was foolish and started looking for a job after summer vacation began. My husband and I kept telling her she needed to start looking BEFORE school was let out for the summer. By waiting as long as she did she lost out because other teens already snagged the summer jobs.
I prefer that our daughter focus on her grades when it’s time to head back to school, but at the same time I really want her to learn about money and budgeting. She has no conception of a budget. Before she heads out into the “real world” she really needs to learn about keeping track of her expenses and saving up for the big things.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. Our daughter spent the weekend in New York City with her friend and her friend’s family. I gave our daughter money to cover any expenses she might have like eating out or getting something to drink from a side walk vendor. When she came home this afternoon she spent pretty much all the money I sent her off with – not one foods or beverages but on clothes! Ugh! I specifically told her the money was for expenses – not to buy frivolous things. She even bought a fancy dress that she’ll never wear again. Her logic was that her friend’s parents were taking her out to a very expensive restaurant in Manhattan and she didn’t have anything fancy to wear, so she bought a dress. Ugh! I told her to ask BEFORE she left for the city if she needed to bring anything fancy to wear.
American Express and Walmart now offer an alternative to debit and checking accounts, which is something I really think our daughter needs. It’s called Bluebird. Perhaps you’ve heard of it before?
Bluebird was designed to help consumers, especially older teens and college students, how to better manage their finances.
Here is a little more information about Bluebird.
Bluebird has been developed for the tens of millions of Americans who are looking for advanced capabilities such as deposits by smartphone and mobile bill pay, fee transparency, and no minimum balance, monthly, annual or overdraft fees. Bluebird puts people back in charge of their finances and is available in more than 4,000 Walmart stores and online. Along with premium features like mobile phone deposits, family sub-accounts and free access to cash at 22,000 ATMs with direct deposit, Bluebird comes with access to additional benefits such as purchase protection against accidental damage or theft, roadside assistance and award winning 24/7 customer service. Bluebird is FDIC insured and can be used for purchases anywhere American Express is accepted worldwide – with no foreign transaction fees.
I would like to sign our daughter up for this. That way when she has a job and can put money into the account she can keep track of her spending and balance and be able to access her money whenever she needs it. I especially love that there is no minimum balance required. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with a minimum balance. Our bank has one for our savings account and we can barely keep our balance above it.
The roadside assistance is also a bonus. Our daughter will most likely have her driving permit soon. Once she’s able to drive on her own I insist that she has some kind of roadside assistance plan.
We are going to open up a Bluebird account and load money on the card for our daughter to use for back to school shopping. She’s at that age where she would rather do it with her friends instead of her family. This way she can purchase what she wants and needs from school on her own, and I’ll be able to help her keep tabs on her spending and help her to stick with a budget. Unlike a credit card where she could easily over spend, with Bluebird you can only spend what you have in the account so there is no chance of her overspending.
For the next month or so I’m going to use Bluebird with my daughter, and perhaps my son too, and document our experiences.
Keep an eye out for future posts. I’ll let you know how Bluebird is working with our family and our teen daughter.
For more information about Bluebird visit www.Bluebird.com.
Have you heard of Bluebird? Have you had a chance to try it out? If so I would love to hear about your experiences and/or thoughts on the program.
*I am being compensated for my time and participation, however all the opinions expressed are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.