Would you give a visa card to your 8 year old?
Just a few weeks ago we asked if you would give your child a raise in their allowance. We discussed the possibilities of nurturing your child’s ability to manage and invest their money or perhaps explore the possibilities of becoming an entrepreneur. This week, we’re asking if you would give them a cash card.
The new goHenry card is a cash card for kids 8-18 years old. They can use the card to spend their allowance how they wish at participating retail stores and of course, according to the company, is a great way to teach them how to manage their money. goHenry was initially the brainchild of a group of parents and friends who wanted their children to learn the value of money.
Although the account is used by the child, parents have some control of what the balance on the account can be spent on. If the card is lost, stolen or parents simply wish to stop their child using the card they can put a block on it. There are plenty of graphics on the account app to encourage the child to take note of what is happening with the account.
The question is, is this a good way to teach kids about finance or is it a faster way to get them into debt? There is no interest paid on the balance of the account, and therefore goHenry has no way of teaching children about the importance of saving, accumulated interest and the benefits of investment. However, what it does do, is allow your child to spend within their budget and experience online shopping for themselves. There is of course an introductory incentive for opening an account with goHenry and you will only have to pay a fee once the account has been open for two months.
Although there are over a thousand parents who have signed up for the card, there are just as many who worry that children are now being targeted by ‘big brother’. They are worried that their children’s spending habits will be monitored by large organisations who will inevitably hone in on them as potential marketing targets and which will no doubt counteract the good habits of spending.