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FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Parenting/ Simplifying

Why Your Kid Needs A Debit Card

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids

I have to tell you about Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids that we have been using. It has been such an easy and convenient way to exchange cash with our kids! Gone are the days of making sure we always have enough cash on hand.

Greenlight card was made for children and built by parents. It is a smart debit card and has an easy-to-use app which gives parents a convenient way to stay informed on kids spending, communicate with them and load their cards.

Cash can only go so far and limits you when it comes to staying on top of what your kid is spending, when they are spending it, and where!

For younger kids, this debit card is great to control all of their spending. For older kids, like our teen girls, we use it along with their own cash for the sake of convenience and as a way to teach responsibility when it comes to money.

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids

Why We Love Greenlight Debit Card for Kids

Here are a few reasons why we love it:

1. The Greenlight App is super intuitive and easy to use and setup.

2. The girls (especially my youngest), like having their own card! Kids feel so grown up!

3. It eliminates the pain of exchanging cash.

4. It keeps the girls from having too much cash lying around. A lost card is easy to replace. Lost cash cannot be replaced.

5. It is safe. If someone gets ahold of their card, we can immediately turn the card off from the app. They will not know the PIN in order to use it.

6. Helps us teach good spending habits in real life situations and prepares them to become financially responsible adults. It makes teaching fun!

7. Sends real-time notifications to parents and kids after a purchase.

8. Gives us gentle and flexible control of where their spending goes.

9. It gives them independence to spend their own money while we retain control over where their money is spent or how much they have to spend in certain stores or retailers.

10. It is fun and easy to communicate through the comments in the app.

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids; parents dashboard


Here are a few examples from our family & how Greenlight debit card has made life so convenient:

~Our girls have earned allowance since they were young. My Todd wrote a few posts about it. We had a chart and chore system when they were younger and were paid a small allowance if they were responsible that week. Now that they are older they get an allowance just for being great and responsible teens! Todd has done a great job of making sure we have the cash to pay them each week, but it takes some thought and even trips to the bank at times. Now all he has to do is get out his phone and quickly send it to their debit card. It is as easy as sending them a text! Easier still–Greenlight card has a convenient automated allowance feature to ‘set it and forget it’ so your kids always receive their allowance on time.

~Our girls often babysit and are sometimes paid with a check.  We would have to cash their checks for them, then remember to get the money to them, hoping we have enough cash on hand. Now, all we have to do is deposit their checks with the rest of our deposits, and simply use the Greenlight app to send them the check total directly to their Greenlight debit card.

~We have 2 teen drivers. I will occasionally send them on errands or to the grocery store to pick up a few things. We used to have an exchange of cash, and often I would forget who I gave money to and for what. Sometimes I would wonder if I had paid them back at all! This was a problem when it came to doing the budget numbers, as I would need to know accurate numbers and what category in our budget those numbers came out of. Now they can bring us a receipt and I can immediately send them the money we owe them, right to their debit card, and then send myself a text as a reminder to which budget it came out of and how much.

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids. Can specify certain stores!

~My Colsie loves a good deal and does an amazing job finding clothes at a good price. Sometimes she will be out with friends and stumbles upon a great deal, but realizes she does not have cash on her. Now she can send me a text and the Greenlight app has the option of letting me send her money that she can ONLY to spend at that specific store. I love that control. I want her to have the freedom to spend money on some good deals, but I also want to keep her from spending her whole paycheck at one store and keep her from being tempted at other stores. I can send her the exact amount that I think is reasonable that she can spend at that specific store, and the card will only allow her to spend that amount. Brilliant!

Greenlight Debit Card

~Todd is amazing at spoiling us when it comes to making sure our cars are all full of gas. I rarely have to pump my own! I know…I’m spoiled! He does it on Saturdays so faithfully. It is a great way that he shows love by serving us girls. If he was not so great at this, I could see us really using the ‘Gas’ option of the Greenlight cards, and we may still decide to use it to teach our girls the value and cost of gas. We could give them a set amount of gas that we agree to pay for each week, then they can be aware of how much they use and stay aim to stay within that gas budget. It will also get them used to getting their own gas, as they won’t be around for many more years for Dad to do it for them!

While writing this post, two more scenarios with Greenlight debit card happened:

~My Colsie is driving herself to get some tutoring after school. She needs to pay her tutor $20 and has her own cash on her, but we need to pay her back. I will use the Greenlight app to pay her back.

Greenlight, the smart debit card for kids. Can leave them comments.

~My Teagan got out of school early today and is out and about running errands with her boyfriend. I wanted to make sure she got some lunch so I sent her $15 with a note specifying what it is for. It took seconds and made her day!

Do you see what I mean by convenient? I love being able to pay my girls back the minute I think about it, instead of thinking about it later and wondering if I ever paid them back! I love treating my girls with a surprise deposit and telling them to enjoy it! I especially love when I get a real-time alert when they do spend it.

Do you want to try Greenlight card out for yourself?  Take advantage of the special 30-day trial to see if it is a good fit for your family and get a $20 deposit bonus when you sign up after the trial.

Greenlight is available for iOS and Android and costs $4.99/mo per family and includes cards for up to 5 children. It also offers zero-fee loading for parents transferring money into their Greenlight account.

Sign up for Greenlight before 10/30 and they’ll deposit a $20 bonus into your account after the 30-day free trial ends. *deposit bonus made approximately two weeks after the free trial ends.


“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Greenlight, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #GreenPMG

Frugal/ How-Tos/ Meals/ RECIPES

6 Steps To Eating Well On A Budget

How to eat well on a budget


by Meghan Newsom
Health & Gluten Free Recipes Contributor

It’s no secret that it’s expensive to eat well. It’s even more expensive if you are on a strict gluten free diet. The thing I hear most from friends and family as to why they don’t put better food inside their body is because it’s just too expensive.

 While eating an organic plant-based diet IS a bit more expensive than the normal American diet, I have found lots of tricks to keeping our grocery budget low while still being able to enjoy a healthy whole foods diet in our home.

 These 6 tricks to eating well on a tight budget have helped our family, and I know it will help yours as well!

1. PLAN PLAN PLAN!- Always plan ahead of time. Know what you are going to eat each night for dinner, and plan for lunches and breakfasts as well. While you are planning your menu, keep a piece of paper beside you to jot down specific items you will need from the grocery store. Take an inventory of your pantry as well and jot down any staple items you will need to re-stock for the week.

 2. Budget– With our household, we keep a strict budget to keep us on track. We pay for things in cash and this really helps me not overspend when I go to the grocery store (since it’s the only place we are really allowed to spend money!). Taking cash with me helps me know that I’ve got to be extremely mindful of what I put into my shopping cart. It’s kind of embarrassing when you get to the check-out and you don’t have enough money to pay for everything!

 3. Keep Staples On Hand- This little tip has helped me eliminate about $20 dollars a week from our budget. I keep brown rice, quinoa, dried beans, sushi rice, lentils and gluten free pasta on hand. By buying these items in bulk when our budget allows for it, I always have “filler” items for times when our budget runs out. Notice that I said DRIED BEANS instead of CANNED BEANS. Buying dried beans and cooking them in the crockpot then freezing them saves our family so much money. I also love that I know exactly what goes into our beans- just beans!! (no preservatives from the cans).

 4. Make Your Own Snacks- Instead of buying processed, pre-packaged foods, I always make our own snacks. I make our own granola bars, pop our own popcorn and make our own “ice cream”. Whenever we have deserts, I either buy a Bob’s Red Mill mix that is on sale at Big Lots! OR make my own. The only pre-packaged snacks we buy are high-protein granola bars for my husband’s bike rides. 

5. Produce- There are several ways to save on produce, and none of them involve shopping at a health food store or even your local grocery store. We have saved money by joining a local CSA, shopping at farmers markets (the best time to do this is when they are closing down and the farmers want to get rid of their produce), and recently shopping at locally owned grocery stores. There is a store in our area that sales only organic produce that they buy off of farmers at farmers markets. We are able to get a HUGE box of produce that will last us 2 weeks for only $35.00. I have several friends who are able to save money at co-ops as well as costco.

 6. Stay Away From Pre-Packaged Foods– This little tip is especially helpful when you are on a gluten free diet. Gluten Free packaged foods are a lot more expensive than their gluten-contaning counterparts. When you can, stay away from prepackaged foods and opt to make your own. I do this in our home by making our own dressings, our own popcorn, french fries, salads etc. There are some prepackaged foods that are staples in our home like cereals and condiments. But, as a general rule pre-packaged foods can really add onto your grocery bill.

 Do you have any tried-and-true ways you help your family save money on your grocery budget? We’d love to hear your ideas!

Meghan Newsom
Health & Gluten Free Contributor
Meghan’s site: make.
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