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Kids and money

Just swipe it!

Oh my goodness.  Have you seen the credit card commercial (I don’t recall which card) where the woman is traveling and she buys her plane tickets by “swiping” her card?  Then she buys something at a store and the cashier asks her if she wants anything else, she’s like “oh, yeah – I’ll take this” and “swipes” her card.  The she walks up to an ATM and … you guessed it – “swipes” her card and gets cash.

The first time I saw this I turned to my husband and said, “That is a terrible commercial.  You know if Rory (our five year old granddaughter) sees this, she is totally going to think all you have to do if you want something is to swipe your card.  You can even swipe your card and get money!”

Seriously though, think about it.  Where, in the commercial, does it explain that in order to be able to swipe your card effectively… you have to have money in your bank account?  It doesn’t!  For a youngster who doesn’t know that, they are learning that all you have to do is swipe your card to get what you want.

Case in point:  My husband was telling me about a conversation with a co-worker whose child wanted something.  She told her child she didn’t have the money for that today.  The child responded… wait for it… “Just swipe your card.”

This is not good.  With the instant gratification and card swiping going on we are a nation in debt.  In statistics from last summer, the “average American” takes on more debt than they make in a year.  If we don’t teach our children and grandchildren about money (and the fact that you can’t really just swipe your card) the future will not be good for them – or us – or the USA.

So at what age should you start teaching kids about money?  An internet search turned up many links.  I chose to share this one http://moneyasyougrow.org/ with you.  You can choose any that you like, but choose.  Choose to talk to your kids about money.

And PLEASE let them know, you can’t “just swipe it!”

 

*Pam Horton is a AACC certified Parenting Coach in the Raleigh area.*

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