If you are looking for a platform that allows you to have an efficient system when it comes to giving allowances to your kids, at the same time, helps teach them the value of money, then you got to keep reading this Greenlight review.
Being consistent in giving allowances could sometimes get a little challenging especially for busy parents. More so, to include teaching them how to properly handle their finances.
But that is part of our responsibilities as parents. Financial management, after all, must be first taught at home.
The earlier we teach our kids how to manage their finances wisely, the better. It will surely help keep them away from financial troubles in the future. It’s preparing them to be responsible individuals d as early as now.
Unfortunately, though, a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that the majority of Americans (64%) says that money is a somewhat or very significant source of stress especially for parents whose children are aged 18 years old and below.
Furthermore, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, which measures the financial knowledge and skills that are needed to make the jump from high school to college and on into the workforce revealed that one in five American teens fail to meet the level to be considered as financially literate.
To be honest, these numbers need improvement. Young American people need to be educated to handle their finances well. After all, this will help them in facing the realities of life as they grow older.
Parents have definitely a lot of work to do, but, as we’ve said, the results will be very helpful in the long run – not just for your kids, but for the community as well.
Teaching financial literacy these days is a lot easier – actually. There are so many platforms available out there that parents can use to help teach their children how to handle their money well.
Thanks to the advent of technology, there are platforms like Greenlight that parents can use to raise financially literate individuals.
Speaking of Greenlight, in the next few sections, we are going to do an in-depth review about this financial platform that was specifically created to help parents teach their children about the value of money. It is an app that helps parents automate allowance-paying with a prepaid debit card for kids.
In particular, this Greenlight review will focus on providing essential information about this financial app by answering the following commonly asked questions:
- What is Greenlight?
- Who is Greenlight best for?
- What does Greenlight offer?
- How does Greenlight work?
- Are there fees involved?
- How to open an account with Greenlight?
- Is Greenlight safe?
- What are the upsides of Greenlight?
- What are the downsides of Greenlight?
WHAT IS GREENLIGHT?
Greenlight is an app founded in 2017 with a mission to “help parents raise financially smart kids.”
With the app, parents can automate seamlessly allowance-paying with a prepaid card for kids.
By using Greenlight, parents become the bank. You get to control funding the prepaid cards of your kids, which they can use anywhere and for any purchases.
Through the app and the prepaid debit cards, your kids get to feel what it’s like in the real world. They get to experience managing their money with your guidance.
Greenlight allows parents to automate, at the same time, oversee their kids’ spending with security features built-in.
The app allows parents to set up “accounts” for up to five kids. All of this can be controlled using the app.
Furthermore, parents can opt to divide their kids’ allowance into Saving, Spending, and Giving categories by percentages.
Similar to banks, parents can also set up interest in the savings category so your children earn rewards for saving their money.
For more information about the Greenlight and what to expect from it, check the video below by Neat Apple Tech:
If your kids do have phones, they can access their “account” by downloading the app. There they get to see how much money they have per category, their spending history, as well as their approved list of stores.
Sure, Greenlight seems to be a very good tool to teach kids how to manage their finances, but all these services come with a monthly fee of $4.99 a month.
All Greenlight accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means each depositor will receive up to $250,000 in case of a bank failure.
WHO IS GREENLIGHT BEST FOR?
Greenlight is ideal for parents who want to teach their kids how to be responsible in handling money.
It is a great app for kids as well who want to learn how to handle their finances at an early age.
Greenlight should appeal to parents who want to take advantage of automating the allowance-paying feature. This helps parents be consistent in proving their kids their weekly or monthly allowances.
For parents, Greenlight is good for you if you want to still have control over your kids’ accounts as the app allows you to see your children’s spending as well as their balances. Additionally, the app allows you to choose the stores where your kids can use the money.
Also, since Greenlight comes with a monthly fee, this should be a good option for families with extra money to pay for the fees.
Greenlight is an all-digital financial platform, which means it does not have a physical branch location like a typical bank. So, it should appeal the most to parents who are okay with the all-digital setup.
WHAT DOES GREENLIGHT OFFER?
As mentioned, Greenlight is an app that comes with prepaid debit cards. It helps kids become responsible for handling their finances.
By using Greenlight, you get to enjoy the following major features:
- Parental Controls
- Incentivizing Chores
- Earn Interest
- Money Requests
- Up to 5 Kids Per Account
Greenlight app allows parents to split the money into two categories. First is using one pot for money your kid can spend anytime and anywhere. The other would be the one with multiple parental controls.
If you opt to put money under the parental control spot, you will be notified whenever your child makes a purchase, as well as when payment was declined, or when their account balance is running low.
The app allows parents to incentivize chores with payouts. Using the app, you can create chores and then pay for one-off and recurring chores.
Furthermore, parents can set recurring payments if they want to.
Similar to how banks work, parents can also set an annual percentage yield (APY) to encourage their kids to save.
Your preferred interest is paid out to your kid’s account on a monthly basis.
With the Greenlight app, kids can also request money through the app when their balances are running low. This is very helpful especially when your kids are away from home and they get into a money emergency.
Once you agree to send money, the amount will appear in real-time to your kids’ wallet.
Up to 5 Kids per Account
Greenlight lets you open an account for up to five. Additionally, you can customize your children’s cards by adding their photographs to it. This, however, costs $9.99.
Apart from the above-mentioned, Greenlight also offers the following features:
- Custom Spending Limits
- Activity Notifications
- Educational Saving Tool
- Customized Alerts
Custom Spending Limits
What’s nice about Greenlight is that it allows parents to have full control over the stores that their kids can purchase items from.
Parents can whitelist or blacklist websites and stores in just a few clicks. By blacklisting a store, all attempted transactions will be automatically declined.
To keep parents informed about their kids’ spending activities, Greenlight allows you to turn on notifications so you are informed every time your kid spends his to her money.
Additionally, parents can also set up the accounts in a way that they have to approve every transaction that their kid makes.
Greenlight allows parents to create their own alerts. This way, they are notified every time their kid uses their Greenlight card in making transactions.
Parents may also op to custom alerts when a balance reaches a certain amount or when the card is declined. This feature helps teach your kids not to overspend.
HOW DOES GREENLIGHT WORK?
Now that you already know what the app is all about and what it has to offer, on this part of our Greenlight review we are going to look into how it actually works.
First of all, you need to download the app to your mobile phone to be able to start using Greenlight.
You will then have to link your existing bank account and set up your Parent Wallet.
Greenlight will ask you to provide personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number, as well as your date of birth.
Setting Up Parent Wallet
The Parent Wallet is where you will find your current balance. It also allows you to set up AutoFunding.
Additionally, the Parent Wallet records your funding history so you know how much you’ve given to each of your kids every week (or month).
Using a debit card or a bank account, transfer a starter amount of money to your Greenlight Parent Wallet. The app will then pull the Parent Wallet to distribute weekly allowances to your kids’ accounts.
Transferring money from your bank to the Greenlight app is free. It is important to know, though, that it takes a day or two to process the transaction.
You may also opt to set up an AutoFunding option to have Greenlight fund a certain amount into your wallet.
Setting Up Weekly Allowance
Setting up a weekly allowance is easy. You can set up an automatic allowance amount per week, and you get to decide what percentages of allowance got to a particular category, which includes Save, Spend, and Give.
Kids Version of the App
If your children have mobile phones, they may as well download the Greenlight app. However, the interface is different from yours.
Your kids will see their weekly allowance and balances in the Saving, Spending, and Giving categories. Your kids will also see where they can spend their money. That way they know what specific stores to buy from.
ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED?
As already mentioned in earlier sections, using the Greenlight app comes with a fee.
Greenlight costs $4.99 per month, which is automatically taken out of your Parent Wallet.
The monthly fee covers up to five kids, which makes it worth it for bigger families. If you have five kids, for instance, that means you spend $1 a month per child.
Meanwhile, if you want your child’s photographs to be placed on the card that costs $9.99.
Apart from these, the app does not charge anything else. Transferring money from your bank to the app does not cost a fee.
HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH GREENLIGHT?
Opening a Greenlight account is quick and easy.
To start a Greenlight account, all you have to do is following the following steps:
First, download the app to your mobile phone.
Second, link your existing bank account, and set up your Parent Wallet. You will need to provide some personal information to finish this process.
Greenlight requires you to provide your name, address, and Social Security number, as well as your date of birth.
IS GREENLIGHT SAFE?
The safety of your account and personal information is important to Greenlight.
Greenlight uses state-of-the-art SSL encryption to ensure your data are safe. The app’s partners comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard when processing and storing sensitive information.
Meanwhile, Greenlight debit cards have an EMV chip, and PINs can be controlled by parents. Additionally, cashback is unavailable to prevent unmonitored spending from happening. Rest assured that unsafe spending is prevented by Greenlight’s automated blocked categories.
As mentioned, all accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means each depositor will receive up to $250,000 in case of a bank failure.
WHAT ARE THE UPSIDES OF GREENLIGHT?
This Greenlight review will not be complete without providing you with a summary list of the pros and cons of using the app.
For this section, we are providing you with the upsides of Greenlight, which include the following:
- Automated Allowance-Paying Process – This helps parents a lot to be consistent in giving allowances to their kids.
- Customized Features – Greenlight offers customized features so parents can take control of their kids’ spending and saving habits, which will definitely help them learn to handle their finances responsibly.
- Parental Control – Greenlights allows parents to take full control of their kids’ money by choosing how much goes to Save, Spend, and Give categories, as well the stores where they can purchase items from.
- Multiple Accounts – Parents can set up accounts for as many as five children.
- Debit Cards – The account comes with a debit card, one per kid. Unlike cash, this makes it easier for children to keep track of their spending, as well as their balances.
- Customizable Debit Cards – For the amount of $9.99, parents may opt to put their kids’ photographs on their respective cards to make them more personalized.
- Security Features – Greenlight has put essential security features in place to ensure all accounts are safe.
- Reasonable Monthly Fee – For the price of $4.99 per month, families can enjoy all the perks that Greenlight has to offer. In fact, the monthly fee becomes super worth it if you have five children in the family that you want to enroll in. That means spending $1 per month per child only.
- FDIC Insured – All accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means each depositor will receive up to $250,000 in case of a bank failure.
WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF GREENLIGHT?
In this section, we listed down some of the major downsides of the Greenlight app. This includes the following:
- Card Replacement Fee – Although replacement of card is free for the first time, you will need to pay a cost once it happens again.
- Monthly Fee – Although the amount is fair enough, the monthly fee may seem a lot for some parents whose budgets are tight.
- Allowances Are Not Withheld Automatically – Unfortunately, the app does not automatically withhold allowances in case your kid fails to complete a chore. Parents need to do it manually by turning the allowance off.
- Entirely Online – Greenlight is a mobile application and is entirely online. So, if you want in-person access to your account that is not available. You may have to look for something else.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON GREENLIGHT
Greenlight is a great tool to help parents teach kids the value of money. It provides a lot of great features that are helpful to both parents and kids.
There is a lot of things to love about this app. But of course, like anything else, it does have its share of downsides as well. One of them is the monthly fee of $4.99.
However, if you look at what it has to offer, and how it will help parents raise financially literate children, then, it should be worth it.
So, are you considering downloading Greenlight now?