“The National Money Night Talk” Launch

by News Guy on August 17, 2010

American Express and Jean Chatzky Launch “The National Money Night Talk” Program to Help Parents Educate Kids about Financial Responsibility

NEW YORK, Aug 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — –Parents Encouraged to Access Tips and Take Pledge to Have “The Talk”

American Express and personal finance expert Jean Chatzky today announced the launch of “The National Money Night Talk.” This new program, which culminates on September 16, encourages families around the country to sit down and talk about money and financial responsibility. To help parents get prepared to have “the talk,” American Express and Chatzky have created a new online resource now available at www.moneynighttalk.com. On the site, parents can sign a pledge that they will talk to their kids about money and access exclusive Jean Chatzky videos and resources endorsed by the Council for Economic Education, based on the organization’s national content standards.

“Millions of teens and young adults are heading back to school, but there’s some information not enough of them will get in the classroom — like important money lessons that will help them later on in life,” said Jud Linville, president and C.E.O. of Consumer Services, American Express. “With that in mind, we created The National Money Night Talk as a platform for parents to have the important discussion about money with their kids.”

According The National Money Night Talk Survey — which was developed by American Express and Chatzky (conducted by Echo Research) — parents are already talking to their kids about money, but they are looking for the tools to help make those discussions more effective. In fact, six in ten parents (62%) indicated they are looking for ways to teach their kids about the importance of money management before they overspend.

“Our survey shows that kids look to their parents as the key source of education on money matters, but parents may not always feel like they have the information they need to answer all their questions,” said Jean Chatzky, personal finance expert and author of a new book for teens Not Your Parents’ Money Book. “That’s why we’ve developed an online resource that works through financial topics that matter most to families, like living within a budget, saving and the value of money.”

Pledge to Have “The Talk” and Access the Tools

The free online resource (www.moneynighttalk.com) is available in three different tracks based on age: middle school, high school and college. It features videos, frequently asked questions and talk points to help parents start and sustain the money dialogue beyond National Money Night. It is being made available beginning today to ensure parents of college students have adequate time to access the tools and have the talk with their kids who may be packing up for school before September 16.

New Survey Reveals Families Talk Money but Need Resources

The survey examined the perceptions and attitudes parents and kids have about money and financial responsibility.

Parents and Kids Talk Money Early and Often

The survey suggests that the recession may have been an eye opening experience for how families address finances in their households, as money conversations are taking place more often and earlier in life. According to the survey, nearly six in ten parents (59%) indicate that money has become more of an issue in their households over the past two years and two-thirds of kids (66%) are sensitive to the topic.

Nearly nine in ten parents (88%) and 79 percent of kids are already discussing financial responsibility with one another. Money is discussed at least once a week (Parents, 58%; Kids, 59%), and parents and kids agree these discussions about money began around age 8 or 9 (Parents average, 8; Kids average, 9).

Poor Spending Habits, Need for Budgeting

According to the survey, kids are more likely than parents to say they often buy something with their own money and then later regret it (Parents, 39%; Kids 47%). Both parties are in agreement that the best way to learn how to manage money is to have a set budget to work with (Parents, 80% Strongly/Somewhat Agree; Kids, 73%).Yet only two in five parents (39%) and slightly fewer kids (37%) say they currently have rules or guidelines that must be followed in terms of budgeting. In fact, parents have rules or guidelines with curfews (51%) and dating (41%) before budgets (39%).

Need for Better Money Management Tools that Promote Financial Independence

The survey also illustrates a real need for tools that help parents monitor their kid’s spending habits, while still giving them the freedom to manage money on their own. According to the survey, 44 percent of parents say their kid is free to do what he or she wishes with their money, yet nearly 40 percent wish there were tools to help monitor their kid’s spending.

American Express Provides Tools to Empower Parents, Teens and Young Adults

American Express has several options for parents looking to stay in control of family spending, while still extending financial empowerment to their teens and young adults.

Additional Card with Custom Limits(SM): American Express(R) Cardmembers have the option to add an Additional Card with Custom Limits(SM) to their account for anyone who is 15 years of age or older, where they can set, manage and track spending limits. The Additional Card has the young adult’s name on it, as well as a unique account number, which helps protect the primary account if the Card is lost or stolen. Parents can then raise or lower the spending limit on the Card at any time by simply going online. There is also the added benefit of building a positive credit history with an Additional Card for those 18 years of age or older, while extending the benefits, services and protections of American Express to others in their family and lives.

PASS from American Express(SM): PASS is a prepaid reloadable card parents give to teens and young adults. The Card is a smart, safe alternative to cash, credit and debit for parents to give a prepaid solution to teens. There is no risk of overdraft fees, impacting the Cardmember’s credit and if lost or stolen, the funds can be replaced. Online management tools provide parents with full transparency and control into how the Card is being used. Parents, teens and young adults can manage the account online, view real-time transaction history and set up alerts to receive balance and transaction information. Parents can also schedule reloading of funds automatically. Cardmembers are entitled to valuable protections and benefits including Purchase Protection, Roadside Assistance, and budgeting tips and tools.

For additional information about National Money Night Talk, Additional Card with Custom Limits and PASS from American Express visit www.moneynighttalk.com.

About the Survey

This research survey was conducted by Echo Research and commissioned by American Express and Jean Chatzky. The survey was conducted online among a random sample of Parents of children ages 13 to 22 and Children ages 13 to 22. A total of 806 interviews were completed among Parents and 802 among Children. Interviewing was conducted between July 8 and 15, 2010. The poll has a margin of error of +/-3.5% within each sample group.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at www.americanexpress.com and connect with us on www.facebook.com/americanexpress, www.twitter.com/americanexpress and www.youtube.com/americanexpress.

About Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky is an award winning personal finance expert and bestselling author. Jean’s just published title, NOT YOUR PARENTS’ MONEY BOOK: Making, Saving and Spending Your OWN Money, addresses exactly what kids want and need to know about money. Other recent books from Jean include: MONEY 911, PAY IT DOWN!, THE DIFFERENCE and MAKE MONEY NOT EXCUSES. Jean appears on television regularly and has appeared multiple times on shows such as Oprah, The View and Larry King Live. She is the money editor for MORE Magazine, a columnist for the NY Daily News and her articles have appeared in hundreds of publications including USA WEEKEND, TIME and MONEY. Jean lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children, and is a passionate advocate for financial literacy who believes every child should learn about money both in school and at home. Learn more about Jean at www.jeanchatzky.com.

About the Council for Economic Education

The Council for Economic Education (www.councilforeconed.org) offers comprehensive, best-in-class K-12 economic and personal finance education programs through a nationwide network of affiliates, consisting of teaching resources across the curriculum, professional development for teachers, and nationally-normed assessment instruments. The Council’s endorsement of the educational tools associated with National Money Night should not be considered as an endorsement of American Express products.

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