My Four Year Old Son Receives His First “Credit Card”

My daughter and my son just received two Easter cards in the mail.

As he was opening his, my son, age 4, pulls out a piece of plastic and says, “Look, Mommy, a credit card!”. My wife and I exchanged puzzled looks – and I started to chuckle. “Son, that’s a GIFT card, not a credit card.”

My son is four and we haven’t used a credit card in the last three years. I was a little shocked the he knows what a credit card is. I asked him where he had heard about credit cards. He casually mentioned that he had played with a toy cash register at someone else’s house – and that there were, “three credit cards in it, Daddy”.

I’ve been teaching my kids about money – how to make change, how to count it – but today I had an opportunity to talk to them about debit cards, gift cards, and credit cards. My daughter is eight and she grasped the concepts of ‘earning money and then paying for something’ vs. ‘getting something and paying for it later’ rather quickly. My son learned the difference between his gift card and my debit card.

I love teachable moments.

12 thoughts on “My Four Year Old Son Receives His First “Credit Card”

  1. I love moments like that and we try to take advantage of those opportunities while they are young. Grocery shopping is my biggest moment right now- talking about healthy choices, adding things up as we buy them, working on good nutrition and smart money choices.

    Great job!

  2. That’s why my nieces and nephews get cash from their “Frugal Uncle!” I don’t want them to feel excitement over receiving plastic, in any form. Besides, the great thing about cash is that is spends anywhere!

  3. I asked him where he had heard about credit cards.

    You sure he wasn’t just reading your site? 😉 Great opportunity for a teachable moment…though I prefer giving kids cash. I think it seems more real…

  4. That is really cute. 🙂 Isn’t it kind of sad that they put fake credit cards in toys like that? They are teaching kids bad habits while they are young. I am impressed you are so diligent with your kids at an early age. Great job!

  5. That is one of those things you never really think about. For Xmas I gave my daughter a Princess cash register. At the end of the transaction you are supposed to ask will that be cash or debit? I did not even notice there was not a credit option. Maybe we are getting there, just 1 step at a time.

  6. Very cute. I tried writing a activity list with my preschool sons today.
    1st item: Go to the toy store to buy Diego stuff
    When I said we did not have money for that they said that we needed to go to the bank to buy some money.
    I like the gift card idea.

  7. Hello. I’m 15 years old and I’m interested in easy money making (although your kids probably know more about this than me 🙂
    I stumbled upon your blog and I wanted to ask about any advice you could give me. Because of school, I don’t have time for serious work, so I’m interested in easy work. I don’t want to get rich in 7 days but a couple of extra $ don’t hurt 😉

  8. Reminds me of my younger cousin telling me his room was “wired” aka had internet – at 6 years old. When I was six, Oregon Trail wasn’t even released yet.

  9. We have two teenage children, in their early teens my wife established checking accounts for them, for depositing gifts and earned income – and allowances. The allowance consisted of money that we would normally spend for their clothes and personal care items. They then had to establish a budget for their needs. Any left over money (over allowance) they didn’t need was theirs. Funny, it used to be that my daughter’s precious hair had to have the expensive shampoo, but when we change to this method, the cheap stuff worked fine.

  10. hello again, I found this book about Garage Sale Tips
    and it seems pretty interesting, I guess that in vacations I can organize garage sales and (hopefully) get some cash.

Comments are closed.