Teach Teens Money Management with a Current Debit Card – Review

Teach Teens Money Management with a Current Debit Card – Review

 

Like most parents, we all want to teach our kids responsibility when it comes to money; however, there really hasn’t been a useful platform out there geared towards this.  Sure you can open a savings account for your teen or give them a prepaid Visa gift card but I was on the hunt for something that would teach my child how to manage the money they get.  On my search, I stumbled across a product that does just that.  The product is called Current ( I’m not a big fan of the name but I am a fan of what they offer ).

So What Is Current?

Established by Stuart Sopp, an accomplished former trader and trading boss at Morgan Stanley, Citi and a few other financial institutions, Current is an online platform that brings allowances and money management to the next generation for kids and parents.

Parents will love Current because it offers the following features:

  • Scheduling allowance in advance
  • Rewarding teens for the chores they complete
  • Get notifications when the card was used for a purchase
  • Flexible spending control (block certain categories you don’t want your child to spend money on).

 

Kids will love Current because it offers the following features:

  • They get to spend the money they earn how they want (as long as the parent hasn’t blocked that category)
  • They can dedicate a portion of what they earn to save for a particular item (it shows your savings progress)
  • They can see their balance at any time
  • They have a steady stream of income from the chores or tasks that they accomplish

 

How Does It Work?

 

Current makes it very easy to get started.  All you need to do is download the app (available for both IOS and Android) and sign up with your name address, email address and password.  Because this is a bank, in the application process you will be required to enter your social security number, date of birth and mailing address.  If you’re security conscious then you don’t need to worry because they do use SSL 256-bit encryption (geek talk for) bank-level protection.  After you complete the application process, your child will receive a debit card with their name on it within 7-10 business days.

While you wait on the card to arrive, you can log into the app and setup chores, setup automatic allowance or just add money to your child’s account.

 

What’s the Catch?

 

So you may be wondering by now what’s the catch?  There aren’t many; however, the one that will stick out is the fee for having the account.  Sorry it isn’t free unfortunately; however, but for the type of service offered it is a small price to pay.  At this posting, Current charges $3 a month for 1 child and $4 a month for two children (and an additional $1 for each child after that).  You do get 30 days to try it for free.  If the fees are an issue, you could always teach your child about bank fees and have the fees have them pay for it by taking that money out of their account but in my case I think I’ll eat the fees.

The other fees to be aware of is that if the card gets lost or stolen, there’s a $5 replacement fee to get a new one and if your child travels out of the country there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee (typical for many cards).

 

Final Thoughts

 

Overall, Current is a very sound product and it delivers in the areas that I was looking for.  The ability to create chores and set frequencies upfront (daily, weekly, etc) was straight forward and simple.  All I need to do is hit approve (or disapprove) when it comes time to pay out for these tasks.  It teaches kids the value of money and money management where I believe other apps have fallen short.  If your child wants to save a portion of their money from what they earn, the app allows them to determine how much they want to save.  They can even pick a charity to donate to (an added plus).

The fee per child is on par for which I would expect to pay (free would always be better) but Current is a business and it won’t break the bank. If you’re interested, I would suggest at least grabbing the free trial.

BONUS:  If you use this link, you will get 3 months free (instead of the 30 days):  https://l.current.com/2vCKfF0