Saturday, November 19, 2016

Use A Parent Payment Plan To Hold Teens Accountable For Big Fines

Money Book


That’s how much one teen in our family finance community racked up in library fines. Ouch!

Of course, the teen didn’t have near that much money on hand to pay off the penalty. (And no emergency fund in place. Yet.)

This is where many parents would resign themselves to just paying the fine themselves. To compensate for letting their penniless teen off the hook financially, the parents might feel compelled to inflict more of an emotional penalty — extended lecturing, reminding, or, as teens like to call it, nagging.

Sigh. What parent needs more teen drama?

The parents of this teen, however, found a better way.

They paid off the $111 fine. But they also set up an automated $3 weekly deduction on their teen’s account. Payments roll into the parent’s account as weekly installments until the fine is fully repaid. Activity alerts on the teen’s card provide a steady drumbeat of reminders that library fines are not to be taken lightly.

That’s 37 automated nags that this teen’s parents won’t have to deliver personally.

Sweet. Accountability without the drama.

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  1. While it's important to teach kids about the consequences of things, I think that as parents we need to help them to avoid getting into a situation where the finance problem is too big to bear too. Unfortunately that means nagging!

  2. My issue is daughter used Famzoo card and got cash advances. There appeared to be no limit as long as card had sufficient balance to pay. She was supposed to buy to buy school supples but instead took the cash advance
    How can I limit or not allow a cash advance to be received?

  3. You are correct that FamZoo cards permit PIN-based cash back transactions and ATM use. We tend toward a more open trust-but-verify model, and try to force the tough conversations/communication through things like real-time activity alerts. If that doesn't work (no product covers every scenario), you may want to try a different card offering that supports more of a parental lock-down model.