If you visit The Smart Wallet regularly, you understand the power of financial literacy. Unfortunately, most adults don’t learn the importance until after they’ve had epic financial failures or become adults. Once adults, we realize it would have been great if we had financial education as a kid. Well, this article focuses on an app that helps kids to be better prepared for their financial future — GoHenry.
What Is GoHenry?
GoHenry is a financial literacy platform launched in 2012 by a group of parents who wanted their kids to learn money management. It’s designed for 6 to 18-year-olds and was acquired by Acorns in 2023. The GoHenry app currently has more than two million members in the U.S. and UK.
How Does GoHenry Work?
After your child has received their GoHenry debit card, the card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. In addition, GoHenry has some key features that are shared below.
What Are the Key Features?
GoHenry has many admirable features, many of which are geared toward parental controls.
This is a great feature for parents because it allows them to set weekly, daily, or per-transaction spending limits on their child’s card. The transaction will be declined if the child tries to spend more than the limit allotted or uses their card at a facility they’re not allowed. In addition, you get notified when they make a transaction.
If you pay your child an allowance, you can set their GoHenry card to transfer their allowance to their card automatically. If the allowance is tied to a chore, you can set it so that they don’t get paid until that task is marked as completed.
Of course, you want your child to learn the importance of saving, and GoHenry knows that. So, they’ve also created a feature where your child can set financial goals — as many as they want. GoHenry creates a “pod” for each goal, and as your child saves, they’ll be able to see their progress toward each goal visually.
GoHenry also understands the importance of giving back. If this is also important for your kids to understand, they can help with that. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America has partnered with GoHenry so that donations can be made directly from their platform. But you can also choose a charity of your choice.
GoHenry is more than a debit card; it’s a platform for learning how to manage money. Its learning tool, “Money Missions,” is designed with videos and quizzes that help your child learn about personal finance and make more informed financial decisions. They’ll learn about saving, investing, and more with each lesson catering to the age of the child. They’ll also receive a badge with each new skill they learn!
Is GoHenry Debit Card Safe To Use?
The money in your child’s GoHenry account is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000, just like the money in a traditional bank. The card also has chip and pin protection and bank-level encryption. You can also block the card or unblock it at any time. That makes the card as safe as any bank debit or credit card you use.
Where Can You Use GoHenry?
Although I did read one review that stated their child was not able to use their GoHenry card at a local Walmart, there was nothing else that I read that implied otherwise. According to their site, the GoHenry debit card can be used anywhere the Mastercard is accepted, which would include Walmart. This also includes online stores, brick-and-mortar stores, and ATMs.
How Much Does It Cost?
GoHenry offers a one-month free trial for new members. However, should you decide to continue using the app, the cost is $4.99 per month per child, with a limit of up to four children. Debit cards can also be customized with your child’s name on them or their picture. Customized cards are an additional cost, while Standard cards are at no additional cost.
Pros and Cons
- Great parent controls keep the parent in control of how their child is handling their card.
- Great educational feature to help kids learn about financial literacy and manage their money.
- Savings mechanism for the kids to work towards their financial goals.
- Gives your child the feeling of financial independence and empowerment at an early age.
- GoHenry debit cards differ from traditional bank cards in that they provide real-time spending notifications and other features that give parents more control over their child’s account, like instant transfers and setting spending limits and allowances.
- Parents can also block and unblock cards, and there’s overdraft protection.
- Other features allow the child to split payments with friends, and relatives and friends can give directly to the card.
- FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
- May be costly for families with multiple kids.
- No investing features.
How To Get Started
Starting a GoHenry account is simple. Go to the GoHenry site to get started.
- You’ll have to open the account (free trial) in your name by adding your phone number, date of birth, and social security number.
- Once your account is set up, you can set up an individual account for each child (up to four children). The child must be between the ages of 6 and 18. Their name and date of birth will be asked.
- The card should arrive within five to seven days.
- Don’t forget to activate it!
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a platform that will not only give your child the confidence to feel financially independent but will also educate them in financial literacy, then GoHenry is a great place to start. Although there is no feature to educate on investing, your child will receive the basics of budgeting and saving and can begin their journey toward achieving their financial goals!
Don’t forget to include the monthly cost in your budget and remember to cancel if you choose not to move forward with the card after the one-month trial period.
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