Teenagers are horrible people. The idea of giving them money must drive a number of parents to the brink of abuse (of them) and insanity. For those born in the early 70’s, an age where having a teenager now is a likelihood if not a present problem, it must be even more difficult.
If you were born male in the 1970’s, you expected your dad to punish your transgressions physically. Given this, you LISTENED TO YOUR FATHER, lest you got smacked in the head. Those bygone years of Vietnam wind down, presidential scandal, key parties, polyester, and disco were better than they sound. It was the last time parents were allowed to frighten their children and, at the end of the day, keep school shootings and the newsworthiness of children who felt “entitled” to a non-existent level.
Those years were great. As a six year old, you knew what OPEC was when your parents explained it in a long line for gas, you feared the Soviet Union and mutually assured destruction, and you felt grateful for a hand-me-down black and white TV to watch radicals take control of your country’s embassy.
You thought about these things when doing your paper route each morning in the snow. You thought about these things when, having already mowed your elderly neighbor’s lawn, you questioned how you were going to make them pay you without having to enter their crypt-smelling house.
Now? It is just, “Jimmy has an iPad”, “Why can’t I have the new iPhone Billy does?”, or “Is this chicken free-range?”
Simply saying, “No, no, and no it is not. I will make you wish you were in a Malaysian sweatshop that made those shoes you are wearing, those shoes that we could not afford but you insisted on having”, remains a pipe dream to the majority of 39-42 year-old parents who have money to invest.
Instead, they are forced to make sure their children have credit cards. Or at least one. One that allows some control, or at least a real-time understanding of where that prepaid Mastercard is being used. Enter BillMyParents (OTC: BMPI).
BillMyParents offers, well, parents an opportunity to see where their kids are spending money as it happens through an up-to-the-minute website and text messages each time the card is used. The company claims that it teaches fiscal responsibility. That is, of course, until the crafty little leaches reach college and registration day where they are bombarded with offers for pre-approved credit cards that only require your already secured social security numbers.
BillMyParents gained 12.4% on no news nor Internet stock promotions today. However, if you can see the limited opportunity or utility in somewhat controlling, or at least being made aware of, your children’s spending habits, BillMyParents makes sense. As does its stock.
In theory, the same charges you receive from the high school kid who sells you marijuana by swiping your card through a PayPal attachment to his iPhone each month will come with a text message when your kids do the same. Then you can try to parent if your kids have not already called child protection services when they receive the same notification.
Lastly, and the best bit, BillMyParent’s Mastercard allows the instantaneous blocking of the card. That way you can comfortably get some rest until your child is arrested for shoplifting.
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