These days, many financial experts say it’s vitally important to begin learning financial responsibility at a young age, and now one of the most popular teen stars is helping to promote that message.
BillMyParents recently announced a partnership with pop superstar Justin Bieber to become an ambassador for the company’s prepaid debit card designed to promote responsible spending among teens. Bieber will produce a series of videos to promote responsible money management for teenagers.
The reach Bieber has with teens is, of course, enormous, the company said. His videos have earned more than 3 billion views on YouTube, and he has more than 30 million followers on Twitter, as well as 48 million Facebook fans.
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“Let’s face it. Some teens would much rather watch a personal finance video with Justin Bieber than to listen to their parent’s advice about how to manage their money,” says Gerri Detweiler, Credit.com’s personal finance expert.
Prepaid cards can be a good way to help your teen get used to using plastic without running the risk of running up debt they can’t pay back however, says Detweiler, just because Justin recommends it doesn’t mean it’s the right card for you. The prepaid card carries a monthly fee of $3.95, a $3 fee after 90 days of inactivity, plus other fees.
“Parents and teens will want to shop around for the right prepaid card for them,” says Detweiler. “For example, if you will only use one of these cards occasionally, then a card with no inactivity fee might make more sense.”
Numerous studies have shown that the earlier a youngster starts learning about the value of financial responsibility, the better off they will be as they grow up. Learning about the importance of keeping balances on various accounts as low as possible, making all payments on time, and wisely budgeting and saving whatever income they can is crucial to a healthy financial life.
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Many high schools and colleges across the country now require students to complete financial literacy courses as a means of better preparing them for the real-world situations they will face even before they graduate. For instance, the average college student leaves school with tens of thousands of dollars in debt spread across education loans, auto financing and even credit cards, and that can make it difficult for young adults to establish any kind of financial independence, especially given how tough the job market for recent graduates has been in recent years.
Image: Adam Sundana, via Flickr
This article was updated Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:06 p.m.