“The reality is that as a country we do a poor job of making financial literacy a priority. What we do instead is promote rampant consumerism and that works well for the companies that are beneficiaries of that. Most of the time it doesn’t lead to sustainable personal financial practices that enable someone to be successful over time.”
"Not only are there no good credit cards, the question itself feels wrong to me. It makes me cringe in all my sensitive finance places. I think of the question as the equivalent of asking a nutritionist what the best candy bars are for a college student. Or asking a substance abuse counselor what the very best narcotics would be for a graduating senior to take.
"They are all bad choices. Some could be less bad than others, but the product itself could not be intrinsically good, or advisable. No responsible financial adviser, nutritionist or drug abuse counselor should endorse any of these things."
And then my wife & I took our first stab at doing our taxes last weekend. The best thing that came out of that horrible experience was a possible teachable moment.
It'll already surprise no one who knows me that there's no way in hell I'd ever condone my daughters getting a credit card once they leave the nest (once I'm not supporting them anymore, or claiming them on my taxes, they're free to make their own such decisions). I already encourage them to save, but yesterday gave me another idea.
I'll advise them to have as little withheld from their paycheck as possible, and save on the side to pay their taxes. Then, hopefully, when they get the bill, they can a) pay it easily and b) be reminded of just how much Uncle Sam is ... how to put this nicely ... raking them over the coals, ESPECIALLY the more successful they are.
If they ever get a 'refund'* large enough to smile about, or do anything more than buy a nice dinner, I know I will have failed them in some small part.
* And it's NOT a refund. It's Uncle Sam returning to you the principle of a loan you gave to him INTEREST-FREE.