It’s no secret that the entire realm of money is fast moving into the digital world. From Apple Pay and Google Wallet to PayPal, Paytm and other technologies, there are several ways where purchases can be made and expenses be paid with just a tap or the swipe of a finger. While most teenagers are familiar with digital money, it is vital that we as parents take time to teach them about the various facets of virtual finance, including managing invisible money, spending within limits, security issues and avoiding the traps of emotional spending.
Read on to find a few useful pointers on teaching your teen the basics of handling invisible money.
- Take time to learn all you can: With new kinds of invisible money and payment methods appearing every other day, we need to take the time to research and find out all we can on how the system works, what are their associated charges, possible security threats, etc. Sit down with your teen and explore the various types of invisible money and what best suits your family.
- Think before linking your card: Most smartphones and tabs require linking your credit/debit card details during initial set up. Think twice before doing so, especially if the device is going to be used by someone else other than you. If not sure, you can always skip this part while setting up the account for your teen.
- Use passwords wherever possible: Mobile pay is easy and convenient, and very often the only way we can access certain online stores. In such cases, be sure to set up strong passwords that cannot be overridden. Also, take care to ensure that in-app purchases can only be done via password encryption.
- Reinforce the value of invisible money: Unlike hard cash, virtual or invisible money is easy to spend, as we don’t physically feel the cash leaving us. This can be a major trap for teens (as well as adults). Make a budget and ensure that your kids stick to it. Open separate bank accounts for older teens, teach them to read bank statements and give them the responsibility of maintaining the account.
- Install security apps: There are several apps (both free and paid), which provide protection for safe and easy online payments. Spend some time researching such apps, read the online reviews, and install the app in your teen’s phone or tab.
- Learn from your mistakes: Since invisible money, especially mobile pay, is comparatively new, your teen (or even you) could end up making mistakes. Don’t fret over it, but rather use it as a learning experience to gain better insight. Also, in case of an unfortunate situation, be sure to take up the complaint with those concerned. This could vary by financial institution, mobile network operator or merchant.
Invisible money comes with several unmatched benefits including, ease, convenience and portability, and will therefore continue to be the more popular choice. As a result, it is of utmost importance that we educate our children on the right way to use and conduct digital payments.
What have been your experiences with invisible money? Do share your experiences in the comments box below.
About the Author
Mabel M. Jesudian
Mabel M. Jesudian, was teaching Communicative English at a city college, when she discovered the joys of writing for the web. A writer from her school days, she has now turned her hobby into her profession, and specializes in writing blogs and other website related content. With her husband being an avid traveler, she chronicles all her travel escapades, and a few have been published in magazines and newspapers such as Lonely Planet, Outlook Traveller, AutoCar India and Deccan Chronicle. Apart from travelling and writing, her other passions include quilling, crocheting, cooking, baking and most importantly, being a hands-on mom to her teenage daughter.