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Jun 21, 2021

What’s your child’s money personality?

No two kids are alike. Take dinnertime. Your youngest might spend it arranging their food into...hmmm, is that a dog? Meanwhile, your growing (read: hungry) teen scarfs it all down in seconds. Kids take different approaches to spending, too. Some save every dollar, while others can’t spend their money fast enough. We’re here to help your kids and teens find a healthy balance, and it starts with finding their “money personality.” 

shopper and saver graphic

The Saver

If your child saves every dollar they earn — down to the nickels and dimes — you might have a Saver. Before you go in for the hugs and high-fives, remember that balance is key. So, we encourage you to remind them that it’s okay to spend a little. Here’s a conversation starter to help guide you:

“Looks like you haven’t spent any of your allowance. Saving up is a good habit, but it’s okay to have some fun and treat yourself. Can you think of something you want to buy right now? Let’s do it.”

If they surprise you with an answer like “electric bike,” it might be time to talk Savings Goals. This Greenlight feature lets your kids create and track a specific savings goal for those pricier items. 

The Shopper

Picture this: You just transferred $30 from your Parent’s Wallet to their Spend Anywhere account. Not half an hour later, you get a notification that they spent it at Chick-fil-A, Cinnabon and their favorite online shop, Depop. (We knew consignment would come back.) If this all sounds too familiar, your child might be a Shopper. You can nudge them to start saving by talking about wants vs. needs:

“Looks like you’ve been spending a lot. Spending may be fun in the moment, but saving and investing pay off in the long run. If you save half your allowance, you’ll be able to buy those AirPods in a few months! Or if you invest in a growing company, you may be able to grow your money.”

Another way you can help your Shopper is by setting Spend Controls. This tool lets you limit where and how much your kids can spend — and shows them the power of a budget. 

"Perfectionist, Maybe Later" image

The Perfectionist

If your child checks in on their finances every five minutes, they just might be a Perfectionist. Thoughts that go on in their head: Did I get paid yet? How much is in my savings? How are my stocks doing? (Yep, we offer investing now.) The best thing to do here is encourage them to take a breather:

 “I looked at your account, and you’re doing great! I’m so proud of you. Just remember — it’s okay to take a break from thinking about money. Yes, it’s important, but so is enjoying life.”

If you find that your child is still obsessing over their finances, you could set aside some time to refresh them on healthy money habits. This could be a recurring thing. Money Mondays, anyone? 

The Maybe Later

If it seems like your child isn’t interested in learning smart money habits, they might be a Maybe Later. Why are they doing this? Because trying new things can be hard. Our advice: Encourage them to start with small savings goals and work their way up. That chat could go something like this:

“Remember that instant camera you showed me? You might not have the money right now, but if you save a little every week, you’ll be able to buy it! I’ll even help. For every $5 you save, I’ll give you $2. That’s a sweet deal.”

Tip: Set up Allowance in the Greenlight app and add weekly chores, so they can learn to earn. The best part: there’s no messy chore board to worry about. 

Did you spot your child in any of our money personalities? Maybe they’re a mix of one or two. Like we said, no two kids are alike — and that’s a beautiful thing.

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