The Story

December 5, 2014
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“Educating Kids Today About a Cashless Society,

Will Save Them Pounds in the Future”

Money Habits: Plastic Money = Bad Spending Habits and Causes Child Obesity? WHAT!?

Kids at school are following the nations Cashless Society evolution, because they are also using less cash and more prepaid cards to buy lunch. When I first heard on NPR, a segment on “Cash or Credit” How Kids Pay for School Lunch Matters for health, I was surprised in hearing that Brian Wansink’s study concluded that the root cause for children eating unhealthy during school lunch was directly responsible for their use of debit /prepaid cards. According to the supporting researchers in behavior economics at Cornell University, it was concluded that child obesity is being contributed to this increase in plastic card use. After observing the spending habits from over 2,300 children during the school lunch period. They concluded that kids who use cash, spend less money on junk food because they have a better sense of cause and consequence in spending and eating. Compared to the children using prepaid cards, who do not obtain the same obvious physical economical loss and gain more weight with junk food purchases. The researcher’s solution was to force schools to only allow junk food to be purchased with CASH.

They tried solving the ‘problem’ with an ancient solution, CASH! The actual problem for these kids has nothing to do with the currency their parents elect for them to use at school, the problem is a financial education epidemic we are facing as a nation! We are raising the first generation of kids growing up in a cashless society and are adding little to nothing in helping improve their understanding about the value of money when they spend it using anything but CASH.

How can we do better? Today, my family uses an innovation called KiDebit. It’s an innovative card and virtual app bank system for a child that emulates a debit card and bank balance between the child and parent without the use of any real money. The education needs to start at home before sending the child off to a school lunch with a loaded prepaid card or a debit card with an “infinite balance” tied to it. Using a real Debit Card at home isn’t practical to educate a child either, because young children don’t check bank statements or review their transactions online. There needs to be a bridge between Cash and Plastic for children to better learn financial accountability and this education must start earlier than we might have first expected.

It is more vital today than ever before to focus our kids into having a more relevant education about money because the next generation will be faced with a new challenge in financial accountability. disciplines and practices at lunch could save them money and pounds in the future. So unless those same researches campaign across the country for every fast food and restaurant to require physical CASH for chips, soda and desert ice cream, these kids being forced to use cash today for elementary lunch, will be facing a heavy bill of health in their future.

(1) NPR segment on cash or credit on how kids pay for school lunch, (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/01/17/245033267/cash-or-credit-how-kids-pay-for-school-lunch-matters-for-health)


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