Life insurance for people with a life
You budget online. You invest online. Why not apply for your life insurance online?Read more
April is Financial Literacy Month (who knew?), so we got to thinking: What’s the best way to teach your child about money in 2022? Your parents may have given you a cash allowance, and your first part-time jobs may have paid you in paper checks — but your kids are likely to earn, spend and manage money entirely within a digital environment. This means that today’s parents need to switch their financial advice from paper to plastic — that is, from dollar bills and birthday checks to debit cards and online banking apps.
“Introducing kids to debit cards makes a lot of sense in our digital-first world,” says Riley Adams, CPA and Senior Financial Analyst at Google. Adams, who shares financial literacy advice at Young and the Invested, has written a post about the best debit cards for kids. “Parents should understand the features offered by each card on the market. Is a debit card custom built for a kid worth the monthly fee many bring? Or should you contact your bank and ask if they offer a free debit card that your kids can use?”
We reached out to three financial experts to learn how parents can prepare for this important financial transition — and how you can prepare your children to manage real money in a digital world.
How old is old enough for a debit card for children? Many banks require children to be a certain age before they are allowed to open a debit card in their own name, and your children’s options may be limited until they are 13 or older — but some banks allow younger children to use debit cards that are connected to a parent’s checking or savings account. Check with your bank or credit union to see what their age requirements are, and what kind of debit card for children is available .
In addition to bank-issued debit cards, there are several new fintech (financial technology) debit cards designed to help children learn how to manage money. These cards, which are connected to a parent’s bank account, are often available to children as young as 8 or even 6 — which means that you could begin the process of teaching your children financial literacy at a very early age.
“Some kids show strong financial literacy and can handle a card as early as their middle childhood to preteen years,” Adams explains. “Others, not so much.” That’s why he likes debit cards that allow parents to set a spending limit and receive notifications whenever their child makes a purchase. “These kinds of debit cards work for both types of kids and give parents peace of mind, no matter where their kid rests from a financial readiness point-of-view.”
Your parents may have given you a cash allowance, but your kids are likely to earn, spend and manage money entirely within a digital environment.
If you’re looking for the best debit card for children, you have two options to consider. You could help your child open a traditional debit card through a bank, or you could apply for a debit card specifically designed to teach children financial literacy.
“The marketplace is filled with debit cards targeted at parents who are trying to teach money management to their kids,” explains Amanda Monschein, Financial Advisor at Stratus Wealth Advisors. “These cards charge monthly fees, and several of the most popular and innovative products in this space include Greenlight Debit Card for Kids, FamZoo Prepaid Card, and GoHenry Debit Card.”
If you help your child open a debit card through a bank, the card will be linked to a checking or savings account in your child’s name. “Most banks offer debit cards that kids can tie to their own checking or savings accounts,” says Monschein. However, a kids debit card like Greenlight, FamZoo and GoHenry are connected to the parent’s bank account, not the child’s. “These accounts are typically linked to a parent’s bank account and are managed exclusively on an app.”
Why would a kids card be linked to a parent’s bank account? Because this gives the parent the ability to customize the debit card to meet their child’s needs — whether they want to deposit money every time a child completes a scheduled chore, or whether they want to set a spending limit that keeps their child from blowing their entire allowance on video games or candy.
“Money management debit cards allow parents to assign chores to their kids and only transfer the allowance once the chores are completed and approved via the app,” Monschein told us. “Some debit cards allow you to apply daily or weekly spending limits or block spending in specific merchandise categories. For example, a parent could set up their child’s card so that they were allowed unlimited spending at gas pumps, but only $20 per week at Starbucks.”
Is it better to get your child a traditional debit card issued through a bank, or to sign up with a money management debit card like Greenlight, FamZoo or GoHenry? It depends on how much work you’re willing to take on — and how willing you are to pay a monthly fee.
Money management debit cards are most likely to be attractive to parents who want a lot of control over the process. “The primary features parents tend to like are the controls offered over where and how much their children can spend,” says Adams. “You can enable cards to send notifications and alerts when kids make purchases, keeping you in the loop as the dialed-in parent.”
However, these kinds of debit cards come at a cost — first in terms of the monthly fee associated with the card, and second in terms of your time. “These cards require parents to manage an app where they assign chores, accept transactions, place spending limits, review purchases, etc,” Monshein explains. “Many parents report that this system of management takes about 5-10 minutes per day, so over 30 minutes of time per week.”
Many bank debit cards, on the other hand, are free — and savvy parents can figure out their own ways of customizing their child’s card to encourage financial responsibility and spending. “I started each of my three children with an allowance at age 13 that is automatically deposited into their checking account monthly and has a debit card attached,” Chris Hardy, CFP® and CEO of Paramount Investment Advisors, Inc., told us. The monthly allowance is designed to be enough to cover all of his children’s discretionary needs for the year — birthday gifts for family and friends, clothes shopping, entertainment spending and so on — as long as it is managed wisely. “This method has allowed them to spend money on items they feel are important,” says Hardy, “along with making some mistakes and wishing they did not spend the money how they did.”
You budget online. You invest online. Why not apply for your life insurance online?Read more
The most important thing a parent can do, when introducing your children to debit cards, is have a plan to help your child use debit wisely. This means being ready for your children to make mistakes — and being ready to help them get back on track.
One of the key lessons you can teach your children is that certain times of the year — holidays and vacations, for example — are more expensive than others. Hardy gives his children the same amount of money every month specifically so his kids will learn how to budget and plan ahead. “Some months there are few expenses and other months there are significant expenses that may be more than what they have coming in,” he explains.
You can also teach your children that they can increase their spending power not only by creating savings goals, but also by doing extra work. “Your child may earn money from a special project that you might allow them to use at the video game store,” suggests Monschein. Many of us spend our working lives balancing traditional jobs and side hustles, after all — and if you teach your children how to be smart earners as well as smart spenders, that’s a win-win.
Lastly, you can teach your children that the basic fundamentals of personal finance and financial responsibility stay the same no matter how old they are. A child who learns how to save money for a sibling’s birthday present may grow up to be a teenager who can save for a reliable used car — or an adult who can save for a down payment on a home. Once these lessons are learned, they last a lifetime — whether you’re paying with cash, credit card, a debit card, cryptocurrency or whatever the future may bring.
Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, with a focus on personal finance and habit formation. In addition to Haven Life, her work regularly appears at Lifehacker, Bankrate, CreditCards.com, and Vox. Dieker spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money, and is the author of Frugal and the Beast: And Other Financial Fairy Tales.Read more by Nicole Dieker
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.
Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.
Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.
MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit: https://havenlife.com/plus
Jun 8, 2023
I filled out the application on Sunday afternoon, and was fully approved before noon on Monday. I was initially told that I would need a medical exam, but in the process, it was determined that I didn’t actually need a medical exam to be approved. So, this was a welcome surprise. Also, the initial quote I was given (before completing the application) was only about $15 off from the final approved premium. The Haven Team communicated with me regularly thoughout the application process and promptly answered my questions. Overall, this was an extremely smooth, efficient, and pleasant experience. My family and I are thrilled to have this affordable policy that will last 30 years, onto my 70s. Thank you, Haven!
–HBread more at
Jun 7, 2023
Easy application process and great rates compared to other insurance companies I considered. The health screening portion was a bit long and I kept getting follow up questions for medical history related to my wife and not myself.
–Tylerread more at
Jun 1, 2023
Easy to apply I just got approved last week so haven't had to make any claims or anything like that (as this is a life insurance policy, guess that's a good thing lol). But what put Haven Life at the top of my list was their intuitive website and easy application process. All done online and then the physical exam was done in my home! Very easy process.
–S Speightread more at
May 25, 2023
There was truly no medical exam for their term life insurance. The customer service was responsive and helpful. The price was comparable to another company with the same terms.
–Bukkyread more at
May 11, 2023
Wonderful company!! I definitely recommend Haven life!! Awesome at finding the best coverage for me! Great coverage that is affordable!! Glad I listened to the recommendation that was given to me about this company
–Blaiseread more at