PF Weekly Grab a Brew

PF Weekly Reading List #15- Bieber Wants To Help Your Kids “Get Money”

Share to...

Boy Holding Debit Card

Justin Bieber and financial literacy who would have thought that he would want to teach teens how to “get money”.

I almost thought I was seeing things for a moment when reading the news this morning but turns out my coffee was indeed strong enough. I’m not a Belieber but I am a believer in spreading the word about financial literacy.

Bieber has stepped up and is backing a real-time monitoring debit card for kids through a Spend Smart Payment company in an effort to spread financial literacy awareness to the teens of today.

We’ve talked here at CBB about how the school system should teach kids to “get money” (in other words to understand) so they can live a life not riddled in consumer debt, and now this new type of debit card is in the spotlight. 

If parents struggle to talk to their kids about money this is the perfect way to bring the topic to the table but in a “cool-kid” type of way. I’ve said it more than once on this blog that “convenience costs” and that’s pretty much what this service will be, a money lesson with a convenience price tag.

The card which apparently has a MasterCard logo on it (maybe a psychological way of making the kids think it’s a credit card) when used sends an alert to the parents to let them know what their kids are trying to spend money on. Parents have the authority to decline purchases or lock the card from their smart phone or through text messages.

Are parents really prepared to watch every move their kids make financially with this card? Will the kids feel they are being treated like a baby who can’t spend money without permission from mom and dad.

We do have to teach them about responsibility after all and learning to make their “own” decisions without someone else’s approval.

Maybe that’s what the card is for, earning that right to spend, who knows.

Fees For The Card: As per the article

  • monthly fee of $3.95
  • $2.95 loading fee from a credit card or $0.75 from a bank account or free if scheduled monthly
  • $1.50 to withdraw from any A.T.M. (in addition to A.T.M. surcharges)
  • 50 cents for an A.T.M. balance inquiry
  • $7.95 for a replacement card
  • $3 for 30 days of inactivity

To some extent the fees seem to be comparable to many traditional banking and credit card fees.

I find in Canada there are fees for just about everything when it comes to banking. The inactivity fee  is what I don’t care for at all.

It seems odd when it’s your own money and you are being penalized for not using it.

It seems like they are sending a message to the kids “spend or else” it will cost you.

That will be the day I get penalized for not spending my money.

I don’t know about you but that seems a bit counter-productive considering the point of the card is to encourage smart teen spending.

If it were my kids they would be getting cash from any money they earn and I’d be teaching them about budgeting, saving, wants and needs while making smart choices.

That’s just the way we as a couple would work together to make sure our kids “get money” before money gets them.

When I was growing up I went the traditional route of opening my own bank account and saving my money with my parents guidance.

They never told me, “no” they trusted that from their parenting talks about money with me that I would make adult decisions about how the money should be spent.

They led me down the right path, it worked for me but might not work for others. I used cash as a kid but today kids are credit card happy because of the ease of getting one especially College or University students.

Leaving for school with a credit card if not used properly can cause even more debt to be added to the already mounting OSAP loans that many carry.

I agree with Michelle Jun, the lawyer in the article about building a credit history and relationship with the bank and with this card your child won’t be getting any of that.

Should parents be teaching their kids about money, sure if they know what they are doing themselves. You can’t teach your kids something that you aren’t able to get a grip on yourself. Kids know when parents are having money problems, they sense these things and they do have eyes and ears, somebody is watching you.

I believe parents should be on a quest to raise financially literate kids but at what cost is up to them. 

Not all parents know how to handle situations with their kids and some take it to the extreme like this one couple using public humiliation to teach their daughter a lesson.

If anything, taking this idea to Bieber and paying him to spread the “financial message” to the teen masses is a brilliant marketing idea. The kids of today are knee-deep in social media, it’s an environment they grew up in and it’s like their second family.

They eat, sleep and breathe Facebook, Twitter and many other forms of social outlets.

Bieber didn’t grow up in a family with money and he knows what it’s like so it’s easier for him to relate to the kids from both sides of the financial fence.

“You know when I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money, so me and my family had to watch the money that we spent,” Mr. Bieber says in a video directed at his young fans. “I learned if you have $100 or $100 million — if you spend more than you have, you’re going to go broke.”- Justin Bieber

Bieber has captivated his audience and if he can speak to the generation of kids who may well be running this Country for us one day then so be it. It’s not a bad idea to have someone that many kids look up to spreading the word about money and finances.

Even though the card may have good intentions I’m just not sure if the card will be greeted with open arms by the parents and the children. Time will tell and certainly something I want to follow along with and watch happen.

Financial literacy should start from an early age because I believe if the younger children “get money” early on in life the better off they will be down the road. I’m not for or against this card because I believe in the message and I believe in financial literacy for kids and I also believe that parents will do what’s right for their own children.

You can read the entire story here.

Questions: Would you get your child this card? What are your feelings about all the fees? What system do you currently use to teach your teens about money?

Apple Fyir's Cake

When I saw this Apple Fyri’s Cake at Maggie’s One Butt Kitchen I just knew I had to make it. We both love apples and this recipe looked easy enough to whip up in a flash. You can’t buy a cake like this vs how little it cost me to make it homemade.

Not only was this cake ready to eat shortly after dinner, we didn’t eat it (sad but true) we gave it away to some good friends of ours. Our friends helped us out so we decided to make this cake for them.

Related: Reader Question: Homemade Vs Store Bought Which Is Cheaper

The feedback: Amazing! The kids said that they wanted more and the parents told us the cake was moist and perfect with their morning coffee. That made us feel good to hear that so now we will make our own version of this cake.

In this picture the only difference from Maggie’s recipe is that I added walnuts and vanilla.

The next one I make I will switch it up a bit to create my masterpiece using the apple layering principle she has here.  I will make it an apple coffee cake with walnuts and vanilla with a cinnamon sugar-nutmeg topping.

I may even drizzle it with a bit of hot caramel. Be on the lookout for this upcoming Sunday recipe on the CBB blog

Quote-Budget and Money

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Mr.CBB on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest
  • Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder>> Everyone else has, why wait!
  • Do You Have A Question For Mr. CBB? The best way to get in touch with me is on Facebook

Photo Credit: Boy Holding Debit Card/ Stock Images

Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Good, thoughtful post Mr. CBB. I agree that every parent will have to find their own approach to teaching their children about money. It wouldn’t be my choice as a teaching tool, but the card may work for some folks. A pop singers’ endorsements certainly wouldn’t sway the decision in a favourable way for me. 😉

    Thanks for the kind words about my ricotta recipe. I’m glad you like it.

  2. I would teach my daughter to avoid fees like the plague. There are better ways to learn to use credit than a fee for everything card. I might let her get a credit card in high school just to learn about getting statements and how they work. I never had one until I applied for my own in college, and well the interest thing didn’t sink in for a long time. I wonder if my parents thought the same thing about Pearl Jam that I think about Justin Bieber? At least grunge days were all about minimizing excess, and I’m pretty sure Eddie Vedder never had a monkey.

  3. I would never have gotten this for my kids. the closest we came was with the first bank accounts, I was co-signer on those. They could put in as much as they wanted but couldn’t take any out unless I signed off on it. The usual deal was we would talk about what they wanted the money for before heading to the bank. If it was something like buying birthday/Christmas gifts for the rest of us I would talk about what they were getting for the others and drop a few hints for myself but we talked about how much was coming out first. I did this until the kid in question was 16 or there abouts…. A fee for not using the card???????? I’d say you have got to be kidding but the banks are not kidding… they, as well as the Beibs are in this to make money and that is the biggest financial lesson to be had here….

  4. As a parent, I would never get this card for my kid. Never mind my personal feelings regarding the singer, I don’t feel this card teaches any sort of financial lesson at all. He doesn’t care about whether kids know how to spend within their means, he just cares about the paycheck he is going to receive for promoting it.

  5. Whenever a celebrity starts hawking a card that “promotes financial literacy” make no mistake. It is a high-fee card that does nothing more than promote the celebrity’s bank account. We’ve seen this before with Kim Kardashian and even Suze Orman!

  6. It’s great that people are trying to teach kids something about “plastic responsibility” early on. when I was a kid, whenever I got any money it was in cash. When that cash was done, so was my spending. Once I became an adult and entered the world of plastic (credit and debit cards) I didn’t see the money running low, and could still make purchases even if I didn’t have the money to pay for it right away. Out of sight, out of mind. If we start young, maybe some kids will learn the discipline needed to stay out debt before it smacks them in the face.

    Although this isn’t the ideal solution it’s definitely a start, and that’s something.

  7. Thanks for mentioning my recipe!:-)
    oh, don`t even mention Bieber.. He`s having a concert in Oslo next week, and I`m already dreading it. The beliebers created total chaos in the streets last time he was here, and this time he´s staying at a hotel close to me, which means that the subway I take every day will be packed with crazy Beliebers, oh how I`m dreading next week!!!

  8. I’m with you, Mr. CBB on this one. No way I’d get this card for my kid. I think it’s a bunch of baloney. Teach them how to budget what they earn – that’s the way to do it. My kids are learning to be wonderfully responsible with money because they know now to put 10% in savings, 10% in a giving fund, and that they have to manage the rest and make it last until next payday. Thanks for the mention, BTW. Have a great weekend, my friend!

  9. Oh, Bieber. The only person getting money here is the bank. Bieber gets paid just to be the spokesperson and the bank it making the cash. These cards are ridiculous, but so popular because of their celebrity endorsers.

  10. Thanks for the links, I am in good company. I would never use a prepaid debit card with my children. In college, I created a joint account and funded it appropriately for tuition etc.

  11. While I think it’s a brilliant marketing ploy, I would steer clear of this card by a longshot. The fees are just way too much in my personal opinion. As you know Mr. CBB, I fully support teaching kids about money and giving them real life experience handling it but I just rolled my eyes when I saw that Bieber is doing this. I’d be interested to know just how much he’s making off of each card issued.

  12. My feelings towards J.Biebs aside, I’m not a fan of this card. I think it will perpetuate the notion that swiping plastic just goes back to Mommy and Daddy. The card is called Bill My Parents not “Taking Responsibility for My Finances.” It is imperative to start teaching kids about money from a young age, like you mentioned, but I don’t see this card as the best way to do so. Kids should also have the opportunity to spend their money and make mistakes with purchases instead of having Mom or Dad confirm or deny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.