Teach Your Teens Safe Spending with American Express


Growing up, my parents never had the talk with me. Noooo, not that talk… the talk about safe spending, saving money in an emergency fund, budgeting and not going into debt. The only financial instruction I remember from high school was how to balance a checkbook in accounting. Looking back, it would have been incredibly helpful if someone had mentioned that buying stuff on credit knowing you don’t have the money (just because you want it and can’t wait to save for it) is bad. Interest rates on high debt credit cards make it near impossible to pay off your balance.

More than half of parents (57%) with kids in high school and college give schools a below average or failing grades in teaching kids responsible spending, with more than one-third (35%) giving a straight out F. This is compared to 37% of parents who give schools an A or B for teaching safe sex, according to a recent American Express Survey.

Since our battle with debt has been won, we have been trying to lead by example for our children. Kaytlin is now in college and has learned some valuable money lessons while still living at home. She does have a debit card and has learned to only spend what she has.

 American Express wants to help parents have the talk and teach your teenagers valuable money lessons with safe spending tips.

Featured Articles:

  • Practice Safe spend Tips & Advice
  • Smart Cookies: Five Best Money Resolutions We Ever Made
  • Smart Cookies Holiday Shopping & Spending Tips
  • Smart Cookies: Starting a Get Out of Debt Plan
  • Jean Chatzky: Tips for Your College Student
  • Jean Chatzky: Tips for Your High-Schooler
  • Jean Chatzky: Tips for Your Middle-Schooler

 Kaytlin hasn’t acquired a credit card (yet). But when she does, I have confidence that between us leading by example and a little help from American Express’ safe spending tips she will begin to build her credit with knowledge and confidence that she will be responsible and not overspend.
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of American Express and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”


  1. julie anne miller says

    My mom and dad didn’t have the talk will me either!! It landed me alot of trouble with a couple of different cards.

  2. Leah Walker says

    Sounds familiar. My mom didn’t talk to me either and we of course went crazy as young teen married parents. We are just getting clear of all that mess. We now preach to our daughter, who’s 15, as much as we can. I don’t think it’s sinking in because she’s spoiled. She will start driving next month though and we are going to be big on budgets because she need not think she’s going to run the roads and spend money nonstop.

  3. nancy shockey says

    Yes, American Express is the way to go!!!

  4. Brandilyn says

    This is a very good idea! I am considering getting my nephew who is fifteen one of these for Christmas. I will add some money onto it to start it out, but then it’ll be his parents job!

  5. Hi, this is a great post! Thanks..

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