Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cash Cards vs. Credit Cards

"Hey, can I borrow your credit card? Thanks! Bye!"

If you have a teenager in your house, you may have unwillingly participated in this one-way interaction and found yourself watching you credit card disappear from your hands faster than you could say "Careful!"

You have probably pondered whether or not to give the little rascal a credit card of his or her own.  After all, there's no time to start accumulating good credit like the present.  However, the lure of plastic and teenage impulsivity may not be the best combination, unless you are prepared to micromanage. And really, who has time for that?

Then consider a cash card.  Cash cards, like the ones offered at Pen Air, are great tools for teaching financial responsibility.  Just make sure to check into any fees before signing up.  

Unlike a debit card, a cash card does not require a checking account and it does not come with hefty interest rates.  Like a gift card, a cash card is preloaded with a set amount of cash.  You cannot overspend on it, and you can't get a fee for insufficient funds - the transaction is simply declined if there is not enough funds stored.

A cash card teaches good plastic money managing habits without the risks of a credit card.  A teenager can use the card instead of cash or credit cards.  The set amount helps him learn to budget and keep track of his money, and it gets him into a good spending habit while using a plastic card. It's a win-win situation.  

Plus, unlike cash, it's cool enough to whip out at the mall!


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