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Parents putting allowance on plastic

Kvasnik says it's important to teach kids about spending and saving, and this plastic can help empower and give them a sense of independence.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- When many of us were kids, all of our money went right into the piggy bank. But, for teens, that just seems so old.

"A lot of people are asking if the old piggy bank still has a place in life and society with our kids, and so I don't know if we really took a look at the piggy bank if the days are gone," said Jonathan Kvasnik, a financial advisor with Bank Cherokee in St. Paul, as he physically hammered a piggy bank, breaking it into pieces.

So, what should parents be doing instead?

"You know when you give your child a lot of cash you don't really know what they're spending the cash on. When you give your child a pre-paid card or a card that's electronic plastic, you can monitor and see what they're doing," said Kvasnik.

Bank Cherokee offers it: Parents can sign their kid up for a debit card that's connected to their account, which they can easily transfer money to and then track the spending.

"As they get older and they get more freedom, they're less likely to want us to tell them how to utilize their money. But, we also need to make sure that they're making good decisions because we are the parent," said Kvasnik.

There are online options, too, like Current: just download the app, and for $36 a year, they'll send your teen a debit card that you put money on.

But, are there any negatives to this?

"They get the idea that it's unlimited, right? They're not really using money, they don't understand when the money's gone. They can't look into their pocket and say, 'Oh, I have a dollar left.' They don't know where the end is and so they become ingrained in that whole idea of I'll buy today and pay later, which can be very dangerous down the road when they're on their own," said Kvasnik.

Again these are debit cards, not credit cards.

Still, Kvasnik says, it's important for parents to teach their kids about spending and saving, and this plastic can help empower and give them a sense of independence.

"It's all about managing how I do my budget. Managing how I spend my money, managing how I earn my money, understanding the limitations of what I make and how much I can spend," said Kvasnik.