Few would argue that we're a nation in dire need of greater fiscal education. If there's anything American's good at, it's debt. We're not taught how to practically manage money in school, and most of us tend to simply repeat the same bad money habits that our parents passed along to us. The net effect of this lack of financial literacy is devastating to the black community, which makes it more difficult to build a financial cushion for hard times, plan for retirement and amass wealth.
Of those with credit cards, 84 percent of African American households carried credit card debt compared with 54 percent of white households. The average credit card debt per household with credit card debt is a staggering $16,007. The statistics I just quoted are a couple of years old, so it's fair to assume things have only gotten worse given our current economic state. Who will address these issues and tackle educating our youth? Actress Kim Kardashian. She is quite familiar with the plight of young African Americans, particularly men (zing!), and hopes to spread the message of financial literacy to the masses with her new, Kim K. Prepaid MasterCard :
Kim Kardashian already lends her name to a host of products and can now add credit cards to that list, thanks to her latest business venture.
The reality star -- who has endorsed diet pills, sunless tanner, perfume, clothing and jewelry in the past -- has teamed up with MasterCard to create the Kardashian Prepaid MasterCard, which aims to help parents track their child's spending habits, the New York Post reports.
The Kardashian Prepaid MasterCards are being marketed as helping parents keep their kids safe by allowing them to monitor their teens' spending through their cellphones.
I'm not totally against the idea of secured credit/debit cards, although such cards often charge exorbitant fees for basic transactions, and sometimes have a negligible positive effect on your credit rating at best. In my opinion, it's probably better to just give a 13-year-old cash instead of exposing them to the magical world of faux credit before they even start high school. That said, I understand the coolness factor of whipping out a credit card, and most of these cards come with a limit so kids are learning some level of responsibility.
After all, there's nothing less cool than having your Kardashian Prepaid MasterCard declined.
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Sure, this is just another pointless product endorsement by a "celebrity" who likely knows little about fiscal discipline, but there are far worse ways to teach your kid about the value of a dollar. My children aren't of age yet, but when they are, I plan to make them an integral part of household financial decisions, ensuring that they follow our family budget and understand the value of money. A Kardashian Prepaid MasterCard will not be in my teaching plan. I know, I know. That segue was just terrible.
-Would you use the Kardashian Prepaid MasterCard to help teach your kids about personal finance?
Jay Anderson is a freelance writer from Washington, DC, whose work has been featured in the Washington Post and on NPR. When he's not busy talking smack here, he runs the award-winning blog AverageBro.com. Follow him via Twitter @AverageBro.