While visiting the lovely beach town Oceanside on the Oregon Coast I looked down on the gravely sidewalk and found a $5 bill. After I picked it up I looked around for anyone that might be searching their pockets, looking for money that wasn’t where they thought it was. When I got back to the car I told my girls what I found and without skipping a beat I hear “Can I have it?!” We visited a store later and my 15 year old found a little bear that touched her heart. She asked “Mom, can I get this? It’s only $5 and that’s what you just found.” I handed her the bill and said, ‘Here. This is yours now. And don’t you have an event coming up that you wanted money for? Do you want to save? Or, do you want that bear?’ She didn’t buy the bear. Funny, when it was my money spending it was no big deal but, when it was her money, the bill stayed in her pocket.
Learning money management is an on-going, daily lesson, no matter what age you are. A recent study showed:
Concerns over Money Management
- Parents and students align when it came to concerns about money management and overspending:
- 60 percent of parents concerned that their child will spend more than is available
- 80 percent of students worried that they will spend more than is available
- However, while more than half of parents believe their children are still learning about responsible money management, more than half of students think they actually handle money well.
Students Believe they are Equipped to Manage Their Own Money: More than one-half (54%) of students say they manage their money very well – fewer parents concur (44%). Most parents say their child entering college this fall is OK at managing money – they are currently learning.
- Students Don’t Want to Go Over Budget: Eight-in-ten students are concerned (very or somewhat) with having money readily available for an emergency (81%), spending more than they have or staying within budget (80% each).
With regard to this survey I am even more pleased with the Bluebird debit card from American Express and Walmart. I signed up for an account in my name and one for my 15 year old daughter as well. I was concerned about over draft fees and found that Bluebird has no over draft fees. I had to call and clarify if what I was reading on their FAQ page was true and yes, it’s true. I asked, ‘So, for example, if my student thinks she has $20 in her account and only has $18 there is no overdraft fee?” They said, “That’s right. When you make another deposit to her account we will deduct the $2.00 to make up the balance.” The benefit of using the Bluebird debit card increased for me after this call. My daughter is excited about her financial responsibility and I feel more secure about this next step.
I have been able to easily access our accounts on-line, adding and/or transferring funds quickly. When my daughter makes a purchase I can see on-line where the purchase was made, and for how much. For the beginning stages of money management this is a great tool. And, when I have questions that need more clarification I give them a call. I have received prompt attention by a live person on the other end of the telephone. A real person. My call to them just yesterday (I have a lot of questions ;-> ) the representative wasn’t sure he had the correct information and found a Supervisor who could help me. I have made 4 calls to Bluebird, some to clarify what I was reading, some to find out more information, and every call has been a positive experience.
I believe Bluebird debit card from American Express and Walmart is a smart move. You can sign-up for a card free of charge on-line at Bluebird.com. Or, you can go to your participating Walmart and receive a starter kit for $5 and begin your account at that very moment. If you do sign up for a Bluebird account please come back here and share your experience! www.bluebird.com
About The Survey
The American Express Bluebird College Survey was completed online among a random sample of 502 college students (who will live at college this fall) and 507 parents of college students (who will live at college this fall). The research survey was conducted online by Ebiquity between July 18 and 23, 2013. Overall, the results have a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence.
Bluebird – an alternative to debit and checking accounts from American Express and Walmart– was designed to help parents and their children better manage and control everyday finances together. Signing up is easy: Consumers can sign-up for free on Bluebird.com, or choose to buy a $5 account set up kit at a local Walmart for immediate use (with limited functionality). The set up kit includes a starter card, which can be funded with cash or a debit card at the register with any dollar amount between $1 and $500. Once funded, the starter card can be used immediately anywhere in the United States where American Express Cards are accepted. Customers must then complete their account set up at bluebird.com in order to access the full features and benefits of Bluebird, as well as receive their personalized Bluebird card.
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Bluebird is a prepaid access account issued by American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
(*Disclosure: In adherence with FTC and WOMMA guidelines I am being compensated for my participation in the American Express and WalMart Birdbird program. My opinions are truthfully my own.)