(WFSB) -- Every week, Channel 3’s Money Monday report helps viewers and their families make better financial decisions.
This week, the focus is on credit cards and how to help set your children up for success.
“The world has changed in the last decade with what tools are out there,” said Bill Dwight, with Famzoo.com.
He knows firsthand that teaching children good spending habits when they are young can be a valuable lesson.
“If we have lots of casual conversations around money, our kids will be comfortable coming to us before they get into deep trouble with debt or something else,” Dwight said.
With raising five kids, he’s had plenty of those conversations.
“Kids are just learning; they are testing boundaries,” Dwight said.
When it comes to getting a child their first credit card, Dwight suggests they start with a prepaid card. Parents put money on it and the kids have to budget.
The card will be declined, if the money isn’t there.
Most families start with this around middle school or the start of high school.
Once they are in college, they can start a hybrid plan with a credit card.
“Coach them to pay the whole bill off the whole month,” Dwight explained. “Put fixed recurring costs on that credit card, so Netflix or Spotify, so it’s very manageable and they don’t get themselves in trouble. And then have all the variable expenses, the emergencies come off the prepaid card so they can’t do any damage to themselves.”
Then, that credit card can help them build their credit.
“That’s really the skill you’re trying to build. The credit card is a terrific instrument if you use it wisely and it’s a very bad loan rate, so don’t use it as a loan, you pay it off every month,” Dwight said.