*This post was created in partnership with Starbucks, and as always, all opinions expressed here are our own.

With two teen daughters in the house, their desire for purchasing things is through the roof. We make more trips to the mall than any other location in town! Now that both girls are old enough to shop on their own without us – and our wallets – present, we need to teach our kids about budgeting.

Teaching kids about responsible spending habits is not for the faint-of-heart. There is a great deal written about this subject, with many recommendations from finance experts about various ways to teach important lessons about finance. After careful research, we decided to teach our kids about budgeting using a prepaid card we can monitor together.

Girls looking at computer screen

Just a few minutes at a time, we check in on purchases with the girls so they can see how expenses accumulate.

 

We chose the Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card because, duh! Starbucks Stars! It’s like a built-in reward system for learning about spending responsibly. The kids love to go to Starbucks anyway, so this is a great incentive to learn and earn at the same time.

How We Teach Our Kids About Budgeting

Apply for the Prepaid Card

The concept behind a prepaid card is simple. Triton and I both simply applied online, were approved and sent cards through the mail to begin. The online application took about three minutes, super easy. And better yet, while some other fees may apply, there are no monthly, annual or reload fees to complicate the process. Both parents got cards so that we could share with each daughter as part of the learning process.

Learn more at https://starbucks.com/starbucks-rewards/prepaid-card?utm_source=media&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=2dadswithbaggage&spid=SPPC&cell=S27.

Load the Card with a Set Amount

Okay this post is not about allowance, which we know is a flash point for some parents. For purposes of this post, let’s just disclose that we give the girls an allowance of $20 per week. If they do chores above and beyond, they can negotiate with us to be paid an extra amount. At the very least, we will be loading $20 per girl on the Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Cards.

To test this new program, we loaded $100 per card.

Set the Rules With Them Up Front

Before just handing over the cards, we knew it was important to go over our house rules for how the girls would be allowed to use our cards. The operative word here is “our”. We made it clear that the card is ours as their parents, and we are allowing them to use the card under strict rules:

  1. The card can only be used to make purchases we have pre-authorized. They cannot just buy whatever they want, whenever they want. By asking us if they can go clothes shopping at the mall, we can grant them permission to use the cards.
  2. They must keep a balance of at least $20 on the card at all times. Through this, we can teach them about managing to a budget. If we let them go all the way to a $0 balance, there would be no wiggle room for mistakes and overages to learn from.
  3. Each girl must show us their receipts after a purchase, and then we can go over those purchases with the girls online to check against the card balances.
Our Modern Answer to a Checking Account

When most of us were kids, checking accounts were still a thing. We wrote checks to make purchases or pay bills, and kept track of our purchases and deposits in the checkbook ledger.

Now prepaid cards are the new answer. We still teach the kids to keep track of subtractions and additions, but online through the Chase website. It’s easy-peasy, and we can sit with the girls and show them how to track their cards on either laptop or mobile.

If you would like to learn more, go to https://starbucks.com/starbucks-rewards/prepaid-card?utm_source=media&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=2dadswithbaggage&spid=SPPC&cell=S27.

Starbucks Stars

The bonus in this plan is racking up Stars in the Starbucks Rewards program! As we teach the girls about responsible budget management, we can also earn Stars everywhere we make purchases.

Starbucks QR code on phone

Adding the Prepaid Card to your Starbucks app allows you to use it for easy purchases in any Starbucks store.

 

The first time we use our Starbucks Rewards Visa Prepaid Card to load our Starbucks Card in the App earns us 125 Stars (enough for one food or drink Reward). Plus, we earn 1 Star for every $10 spent outside of Starbucks stores, but at Starbucks we earn 2 Stars for every $1 we spend using our registered Starbucks Card. The way our family consumes Starbucks menu items, those Stars will add up veeeerrrry fast.

Our whole family wins, because we can go to a Starbucks and use our Rewards to get free goodies. Win/win!

Venti nonfat iced white chocolate mocha with extra ice no whip, here we come!

 

At participating Starbucks stores. Some restrictions apply. See Starbucks.com/terms for details.

Debit cards are provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.  Member FDIC.