No, no, not sex- money. Get your minds out gutter, I mean saving and spending money. Credit cards and debit cards are formerly financial elements associated with adults but now teens have, want, and need them in some cases. (Other cases, not so much!) We’ve already been lectured to about how credit cards are a huge responsibility and blah de blah, but seriously guys- they are no joke. Many of us don’t exactly know how they work so let me break it down really quick.
First of all they get you hooked with things like gas discounts, travel services, and other rewards. Don’t fall into the trap! It may sound all good but trust, the high interest, expectancy for you to pay the minimum amount each month, annual fees, and more surprises will add up more than you can dream in your little brain.
Say you have a $500- limit credit card with 18% interest and you’ve reached your limit. You’ve been paying the $15 dollar minimum on each bill. Well guess what, you are no longer spending your little $500 dollars, it has probably doubled or tripled by the time you pay it off! Not too smart. So if you don’t have a job or rich parents a credit card may not be your most applicable route.
Debit cards are a little different because you spend your own money. Nothing has to be paid back. You won’t receive a monthly bill. If you must get a card, this is the better way to go. But we also must consider this, college- bound students (everyone): the importance of saving money for college. When/if you become a big shot with your own card, you don’t want to spend your brains out unless you plan on winning the million dollar lottery.
Most essentially, saving money is the goal. Only responsible, mature, sheltered teens should receive either type of card. (Just kidding about the sheltered part) But just because you have easy access does not mean that spending is your main goal. Trust a person who has checking (debit) account; it is easy to over-spend hundreds of dollars. My recommendation? Go to the bank with a parent and create a checking account and obtain a debit card because even with some risks, emergency money comes in handy.