twitter partyAmerican Express, along with personal finance expert Jean Chatzky and parenting expert Stacy DeBroff, today announced the launch of a new initiative designed to help parents teach their college-bound kids how to ‘Practice Safe Spend’ before they head back to school and beyond. According to new research, more than half of parents (57%) with kids in high school and college give schools below average or failing grades in teaching kids responsible spending, with more than one-third (35%) giving a straight out ‘F’. This is compared to 37% of parents who give schools an ‘A’ or ‘B’ for teaching safe sex.

In an effort to arm parents with the information they need to educate their teens about smart spending, Chatzky and DeBroff have created tips and advice for parents to have “the money talk” with their teens during this critical first stage of financial independence. Tips range from teaching teens and young adults how to shield themselves from a budget blowout to identifying and understanding their spending personality in order to avoid the pitfalls of financial promiscuity.

‘Practice Safe Spend’ tips are available at A collection of how-to’s, videos and discussion guides from Jean Chatzky are also available to help parents talk to middle school, high school and college-aged kids about financial responsibility.

To further the conversation, on Thursday, August 18 at 3:00 p.m. ET, Chatzky and DeBroff will co-host an hour-long ‘Practice Safe Spend’ Twitter party @MomCentral with American Express, where they will share tips and advice and answer questions from parents. To participate, follow @MomCentral and tweet using the hashtag #SafeSpend.

Chatzky, author of Not Your Parents’ Money Book says, “Without the right information, and proper protection, your child could wind up in financial trouble. Armed with both, school and life will be significantly easier to maneuver.”

“Millions of teens and young adults are heading back to school without the spending and financial education or tools they need to live responsibly and independently,” said Robin Korn, senior vice president and general manager of American Express Charge Cards. “Our program is designed to prepare parents to discuss the importance of money management with their teens and young adults and we have a unique solution in the marketplace to help them put this education into practice.”

American Express Cardmembers can add Additional Cards with Custom Limits(SM) for anyone 15 years of age or older. The Custom Limits feature lets parents set a spending limit on that Card account. It provides peace of mind for parents, who can set, manage and track in real-time the spending by their teen or young adult and helps foster financial discipline. The Additional Card has the teen or young adult’s name on it as well as a distinct account number which helps protect the parents’ account if the Card is ever lost or stolen. Cardmembers can raise or lower the spending limit on the Additional Card at any time. The Card also helps those 18 years or over build a positive credit history, an important tool in creating a strong financial future.

For more “Practice Safe Spend” tips and advice from Chatzky, DeBroff and American Express, visit To join the conversation, visit or


TOPIC – Responsible Teen Spending, brought to you by American Express and Mom Central

TIME -Tuesday, August 18, 2011 at 3-4 PM Eastern)

HASHTAG – #SafeSpend

PANELISTS – @momcentral, @dadcentral @1Stopmom @bookroomreviews (follow everyone before the party!)

Prizes: Six people will win $50 American Express gift cards and a copy of personal finance expert Jean Chatzky’s book “Not Your Parent’s Money Book” during the party, 3 people will win pre-party prizes of an $50 American Express gift card and a copy of Jean’s book.

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Anyone who Tweets the below tweet from now until the American Express #SafeSpend Twitter Party will be eligible to win one of three $50 American Express gift cards and copy of Jean Chatzky’s “Not Your Parent’s Money Book!,
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