Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Keeping Track - PASS week four

When I let my teens get Facebook accounts, I told them up-front that they had to add me as a friend. That was the deal. It’s not that I have this burning need to invade their privacy, but I wanted to monitor their online activity. As teens, I think my kids are entitled to a little freedom, but that freedom comes with the responsibility to use it wisely.

That’s why I like PASS from American Express. It gives my teens a little freedom. They don’t have to ask me for money any time they want or need something. It also puts the responsibility of using the card wisely in their hands. They have X amount of money to last a month. They can spend it on what they like, but if they run out before their next allowance date, that is their problem, not mine. Plus (and this is the best part), it lets me check up on them. I can login as the parent and see their spending activity online. If I notice what I would consider poor spending habits, I can discuss this with them, tell them my concerns, and listen to their reasons for sending money the way they are.

With PASS, I also control how much money they have to spend at any given time. I’m not going to give them more money than they can manage. They get to reap the benefits of learning to manage their money without the threat of getting into serious financial difficulties.

In checking my teens’ accounts tonight, I can see that they both have a nice size balance on their cards. My son has off-campus privileges this year and has used his card to go out to lunch twice in the last couple months. My daughter used hers to buy a snack and a shirt while on a shopping trip to the mall with a friend. Mostly, they’re saving their money right now. And that’s okay by me!

How do you monitor your teen's spending habits? DO you monitor them or do you think that's an invasion of their privacy? Join in the discussion by leaving me a comment here.

For more information about PASS, the prepaid reloadable card for teens from American Express, go HERE.

I am working with American Express on this project. As always, I'm writing my honest accounts and opinions.