On September 16, families around the country are encouraged to sit down and talk about money and financial responsibility as part of "The National Money Night Talk" program, presented by American Express and personal finance expert Jean Chatzky.
Parents can prepare to have "the talk" with their teens and young adults by accessing exclusive content from Jean Chatzky available at www.moneynighttalk.com. The resources on the site include how-to videos, frequently asked questions and talk points, which have been endorsed by the Council for Economic Education based on the organization's national content standards.
Jean Chatzky, a personal finance expert and author of a new book for teens Not Your Parents' Money Book, tailored the site's tips and talking points to three different tracks based on age: middle school, high school and college. The full list of tips is available at www.moneynighttalk.com, but a few highlights include:
- Middle School: Help your middle school students understand how much it would cost them to set up an apartment on their own with all the conveniences of home. Share a utility, grocery or cell phone bill with your kid and show them the breakdown. Ask them if they think that's higher or lower than is reasonable. At the end, take a few minutes to add up the cost of all the bills you pay each month.
- High School: Encourage your high school student to establish a habit of always saving part of the money they have coming in (10 percent is recommended). Offer your teen two tricks to saving: know what they're saving for and have a plan on how to get there. That means they should establish what their short, medium, and long-term goals are then help them figure out how much money they should put aside each week in order to meet their goals. This is also a great time to explain the differences between payment cards in the market such as a debit card, a credit card, a prepaid card, and a charge card.
- College Students: Teach your college students the importance of having a solid credit history. Tell your kids their credit score is like a report card of activity as a borrower. If they always pay their bills on time (and in full) and don't carry credit debt they can build a good credit score. Without a good credit history, they may have a difficult time getting loans for the things they may want to purchase in their future.
American Express Provides Tools to Empower Parents, Teens and Young Adults
In addition to the online tips and tools, American Express has several options for parents looking to stay in control of family spending, while still extending financial empowerment to their teens and young adults.
Additional Cards with Custom LimitsSM: American Express® Cardmembers have the option to add an Additional Cards with Custom LimitsSM to their account for anyone who is 15 years of age or older, where they can set, manage and track spending limits. The Additional Card has the young adult's name on it, as well as a unique account number, which helps protect the primary account if the Card is lost or stolen. Parents can raise or lower the spending limit on the Card at any time online. Those young adults who are 18 years of age or older, can enjoy the added benefit of building a positive credit history with an Additional Card. Parents will also be extending the benefits, services and protections of American Express.
PASS from American ExpressSM: PASS is a prepaid reloadable card parents give to teens and young adults. The Card is a smart, safe alternative to cash, debit and credit for parents to give a prepaid solution to teens. There is no risk of overdraft fees, impacting the Cardmember's credit and if lost or stolen, the funds can be replaced. Online management tools provide parents with full transparency and control into how the Card is being used. Parents, teens and young adults can manage the account online, view real-time transaction history and set up alerts to receive balance and transaction information. Parents can also schedule reloading of funds automatically. Cardmembers are entitled to valuable protections and benefits including Purchase Protection, Roadside Assistance, and budgeting tips and tools.
For additional information about National Money Night Talk, Additional Cards with Custom Limits and PASS from American Express visit www.moneynighttalk.com.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.
About Jean Chatzky
Jean Chatzky is an award winning personal finance expert and bestselling author. Jean's just published title, NOT YOUR PARENTS' MONEY BOOK: Making, Saving and Spending Your OWN Money, addresses exactly what kids want and need to know about money. Other recent books from Jean include: MONEY 911, PAY IT DOWN!, THE DIFFERENCE and MAKE MONEY NOT EXCUSES. Jean appears on television regularly and has appeared multiple times on shows such as Oprah, The View and Larry King Live. She is the money editor for MORE Magazine, a columnist for the NY Daily News and her articles have appeared in hundreds of publications including USA WEEKEND, TIME and MONEY. Jean lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children, and is a passionate advocate for financial literacy who believes every child should learn about money both in school and at home. Learn more about Jean at www.jeanchatzky.com.
About the Council for Economic Education
The Council for Economic Education (www.councilforeconed.org) offers comprehensive, best-in-class K-12 economic and personal finance education programs through a nationwide network of affiliates, consisting of teaching resources across the curriculum, professional development for teachers, and nationally-normed assessment instruments. The Council's endorsement of the educational tools associated with National Money Night should not be considered as an endorsement of American Express products.