AMEX National Money Talk Night $150 Giveaway!

The National Money Night Talk has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you should stop the conversations with your kids about money!

For the past month we’ve been hosting giveaways in honor of National Money Night Talk. For those of you who don’t know, American Express teamed up with personal finance expert Jean Chatzky to launch the first annual “National Money Night Talk” – a program that encourages parents around the country to have “the talk” about money and financial responsibility with their kids.

Congrats to our winner, Arnold Madhukar Frederick! You’ll be receiving an email from American Express shortly on how to claim your $150 AMEX gift card!

As an ode to National Money Night Talk, we’re hosting a final giveaway around family finances! To enter, tell us what was the most interesting thing you learned during your money talk. The winning entry will get a $150 American Express Gift Card as well as a copy of Jean Chatzky’s new book “Not Your Parents’ Money Book: Making, Saving, and Spending Your Own Money” – courtesy of American Express!

If you’re looking for helpful tips on how to have the money talk and some smart payment options parents can give to teens, check out the National Money Night Talk website. Here you can access information on Additional Cards with Custom Limits and PASS from American Express, plus exclusive videos and conversation guides from Jean Chatzky and the Council for Economic Education that address all the main points to help you begin and maintain the money dialogue with your family.

Please limit your entries to one per person.  Any duplicate entries will be deleted and on Monday, September 27th, we will announce the winner of the $150 American Express Gift Card.  Make sure you leave a valid email address, as an invalid address is an automatic disqualification.

Published or Updated: September 28, 2010


  1. Nancy H. says:

    My daughter worked at a pizza/ice cream shop for minimum wage through high school. One day she brought home a music CD that cost almost $20. When I told her she had to work almost 4 hours to pay for the CD plus tax she thought it was not worth it. She returned the CD the very next day but I felt bad & we had the ‘money talk’. She purchased a used T-Top Camaro right before she turned 17 with her own money. Her dad and I were very proud of her.

  2. Cathleen Henderson says:

    I’ve learned that I’ve neglected to educate my 13-year-old son about money management and that I needed to get on the ball.

  3. Amy says:

    There was never really a money talk in my family… it was just expected that we would know how to handle money. It’s taken me a long time, and thankfully I didn’t make TOO many mistakes along the way.

  4. RT says:


  5. Claudia M says:

    i learned that i better sign up for your newsletter and keep up with it LOL 🙂

  6. Dana Anders says:

    I learned that it’ something my 11-year old son is actually interested in. When I explained to him about our budget, he was very intrigued about what went where, how much, etc. I also learned that he is much more excited by experiences than “Stuff”.

  7. Dan Carroll says:

    I learned that my bad money habits are a carryover from my parents lack of money management, lack of helping me understand budgeting, good practices, etc. I have resolved to ensure my children get an education in money management!

  8. I learned that my kids will need much more guidance than I thought! I have ignorantly neglected this subject and now have some long overdue work ahead of me!

  9. Chaz Iannazzo says:

    After hearing about the debt his older sister racked up in student loans, my son opted to stay at home and go to a local university instead of a state university like his sister. Utilizing savings bonds he’d received as gifts as a child and his own savings, he paid for half of his own tuition. He used a modest inheritance to fund his final year of college. His sister’s education cost at least 4 or 5 times as much as his – she never got her degree, totally wasted her inheritance, and is now dodging debt collectors to repay the student loan, which has swollen by 75% of the amount she borrowed, and no end in sight. I’m proud of my son for making more responsible choices than his big sister, who could learn a thing or two from her little brother.

  10. shel says:

    My oldest son was at college in Chicago. The vision coverage on our health insurance was due to be canceled when he turned 19 and I was calling him almost every day, reminding him to set an appointment and get new glasses before the coverage expired.

    Of course, he didn’t. About a month later he called to tell me he had taken some money he had saved and bought himself an Xbox and games. One day later, I got a call at midnight from a frantic son who said he was wrestling with friends and his glasses broke and now he couldn’t see; they weren’t even fixable with tape. There’s nothing more fun than getting a panic-striken midnight phone call from a child 300 miles away from home and then having to explain things like “priorities” and “necessities” and the impact of procrastination on HIS finances since he didn’t take advantage of the vision insurance before it expired. I should have had that talk LONG before he left for college.

    I am proud to say, the Xbox and games were sold, new glasses purchased by my son and lesson learned. Don’t feel too bad for him; the entire family chipped in and bought him another Xbox for Christmas that year.

  11. Wendy Wolbert says:

    I learned that my children need a little more advice on money and I do as well. I’ll be reading my emails a little more carefully so I can learn and then teach them to make the right choices.


    I always push my 8 years old son to save in his piggy bank but I had a special conversation with him in regards to how to invest his savings in something else than a video game. After thinking for a couple hours he decided to get an amazing book from the book fair at his school. He was really excited about the getting the book with his own savings!

  13. Bill says:

    What great talking points for middle schoolers! I will try them out tonight.

  14. Ryan says:

    I like the tip of sitting down with your children and the basic bills to show them how much the basic conveniences of life cost each month. I don’t think most people are aware of how much things actually cost until they move out on their own. and experience them first hand. At that point, it’s a sticker shock! I think more people would wait to move out if they had a realistic idea of how expensive it is to be out on your own.

  15. Doug says:

    We have always talked with our daughter about money. I am realizing that she is still having trouble grasping even the simple things. We are still working on this with her and will until she gets it! She does not need to make the mistakes that we have made.

  16. Gene M says:

    It’s amazing how my twelve year old son interprets what things cost. He’ll go from $1,000 to $1, 000,000 in guesing the price of a car for instance. I try to teach him whenever possible and attention span permits about the real value of things in both cost and effort to obtain. He no longer thinks it is OK to just ask us to drop $50 on every new video game that comes out. Now if only there were no new games…

  17. Mary Krieger says:

    My kids were receptive to my suggestion for staying away from car finance debt. I told them that when I was 16 and dying for my own car, my parents agreed to buy me a clunker if I agreed to save every penny I could to get a replacement for it. They made me promise never to finance a car–to always pay cash. I didn’t break my promise, and have never financed a car. This has saved me a lot of money over the years. I hope my kids will follow through, too!

  18. Catherine Grist says:

    Know what your exact debt figure is.

  19. Steven P says:

    Know what your exact debt figure is.

  20. Maddie says:

    I wish there for there to be classes in the schools to teach kids about money issues. It would help so many of us.

  21. janet says:

    I suggest all parents open a checking account with their children at 13-15, depending on the maturity of child. Monitor activity and sit down and teach them how to balance the account each month.

  22. Cassandra says:

    Money was a no – no topic between me and my husband. I never wanted us to talk about money specially when it comes to auditing, until when was no longer remitting his wage and is in deep debt. He borrows money with 5-10% interest rates to pay another loan till he was no longer able to pay other loans. That ended our marriage. He left with many bills to pay. Everything was negative. I took a job to support our needs and when I got my first salary, paid some of the bills and till I was able to pay all. I never thought I’d surpass that experience.

    Today, my daughter and I always talk of our finances and make sure we spend our money according to our needs and priorities. We try to spend only what we have. It is difficult but getting used to it makes us save and use for rainy days.

  23. Carol says:

    Being a single mom having to manage everything for myself I think has been, or I think, will be good for my kids, they have had to learn they don’t get everything they want, or that their friends have. They have to work for, save for or somehow earn their extras.

  24. Deborah Baldwin says:

    Wish I knew then what I know now…I would have had a better time of things. It is not ever how much you earn but how much you save..My grandkids will learn it from me now! One size fits all is just not good money advice.

  25. Lee Haack says:

    Understanding how much debt I have and how/why to address it.

  26. Debbie says:

    I learned that my boys are pretty financially savvy for their age. At 6, they get that we only have so much money a month to spend on eating out, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. They get that earning a dollar takes real work. They understand if they want the “extras” they have to save their own money. And they like to give their money to people who need it. I’m proud of them! Hope these lessons stick.

  27. Marilyn says:

    One thing that occurs to me is that middle schools ought to incorporate more consumer math into their math courses so that young people get good training about wise money use before they start earning money to any extent.

  28. Mark says:

    I gave my kids a business card holder for $1 and told them to keep various stamp cards in them. Every month or two we save $5 at some business or another. It’s a job I’m happy to delegate.

  29. Nancy Black says:

    I think the biggest thing to is to teach children how to respect money and not let it be the sum and total of their lives.

  30. ian says:

    I learned that ideas of money are very much like the ideas about power. Respecting money is a lot like respecting power.

  31. Audrey H. says:

    I learned that the average cost of a new car in the US is $28,400.

  32. Dennis says:

    Great idea. My child is grown and learned the hard way that money does not grow on trees. As a teenager she spent her money in advanced most every month and always owed more than she got on her Social Security check that she received for my disability. That came to an abrupt end at 18 and by then when she earned the money she had more fiscal constraints. Look-a-like designer clothes were now OK.

  33. sandy spencer says:

    I have to admit I taught my 3 children how to run a tight budget, pay debts first, then indulge every once in awhile. I have to admit they are tighter than me now with their money! It’s crazy, but I guess it worked!!

  34. SR Walker says:

    I learned that a lot of parents are like my own – money is an off-limits topic all too often.

  35. Terri Kelley says:

    The best thing I learned is that my son is growing up to be an incredible person. When talking about saving money and reasons why we need to have savings to fall back on, my son asked how much it was okay to save before you had to start helping other people who didn’t have anything. This from an 8 year old. So that sparked a long conversation about charity and ended with me thinking that maybe my son is right, that we should be giving more and saving less.

  36. Cheryl says:

    I learned that even though I have made mistakes with my young adult kids- I can still educate them

  37. mary begley says:

    All children, teens. and young adults need to be taught about money and how to use it wisely.

  38. brandy says:

    My 10 yr old is learning to save for the stuff hev wants. I can.t just by him everything I have 3.

  39. Libby says:

    I learned from my father that saving 10% of any money you ever touch will always give you a nice cushion later in life.

  40. Judy says:

    I read that banking online can be safer than statements coming in the mailbox but that no one should bank online from a public wi-fi.

  41. Kay says:

    I’ve learned that communication is important….

  42. William Stonesmith says:

    My family and I have learned that a budget is quite necessary if you plan to make your money cover everything. If you don’t have a plan to limit your-
    self beforehand, you will make purchases and spend carelessly without giving
    it a second thought. We cooperate together to get our money to go a lot further
    than we used to. Thank you for showing us that other families are working
    to save money.

  43. CJ says:

    The value of money needs to be introduced to everyone at an early age; Perhaps right from the time that one has cognition of the fact that 100 cents equals $1! 🙂

  44. Priscilla F. says:

    I have learned that I the topic of money is one that is difficult for many parents to address. However, just sweeping things under the carpet and ignoring the topic of money may be detrimental to your child in the long run.

  45. ML says:

    I agree that kids should be taught about early in their lives about money matters. They should learn the value of saving for the rainy days.

  46. Arnold Madhukar Frederick says:

    I taught my grand daughter to give tithe to Jesus from her pocket money.She
    follows this practice.The habit of Tithe brought good results for me and God
    refunded 100 times what I gave Him in thanksgiving .I enjoy this experiment
    and my Grand daughter also enjoying it because with increase in my Income her
    pocket money also increases.Tithe opens the door for making money.

  47. Ann says:

    You can tell your kids a lot of things, but if they don’t get to experience it with their own money, it doesn’t mean anything. I am no longer feeling sorry for my daughter if she uses the last of her allowance for something and still has other things she needs money for. The only way she will get it is to suffer the consequences.

  48. Bob Phillips says:

    Good reading. gets right to the point and is especially helpful in this time of errant activities by the various states and Federal government. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this letter akes them up and start to behave as they should. Anyway, I’m going to try to vector my financial activities in the manner it suggests. Thanks DoughRoller!

  49. Kelley says:

    My husband and I are trying to teach our 9yr old about saving and spending money. When ever he receives cash for doing chores, holidays, etc… he saves the dollars in his wallet and puts the change in a jar. When we go to the store and he does the normal “can I have that”. My response is always sure if you have enough money in our wallet to pay for it. Even if he does have enough money he always thinks his purchases through. Most of the time he ends up not getting it because he doesn’t think he will play with it much or the item is not on sale. Now if it is a toy he really wants, he has learned to do extra work and save up for it.

  50. Mark says:

    You need to be fully aware of the realities of the world today. Everyday things will just continue to go up in price, forever.

  51. Kathy says:

    I have learned a lot during National Money Talk Night. I just wish I would have know how to teach my daughter how to manage money better, before she went of to college.

  52. Nancy K O'Kelly says:

    I was 24 yrs old before I could use a checkbook. Saving was something you did when you were thirtysomething. My nieces today have 401k’s at 24. Good for this generation!

  53. JK says:

    I’ve taken the pledge to start “talking” to my middle school kids NOW!
    It’s a different world we live in today…with so much emphasis put on material value, that we easily forget about how one can live simply and still be happy. There are many financial tools available and “The Talk” is a good way to start giving children knowledge about finances…money.

  54. Ted says:

    I believe there should be courses taught in school at a fairly young age. My daughter is 11 and she is just starting to grasp the value of saving money (just is the key word here). If everyone coming out of school was financially savvy, we would have a much more efficient and productive society.

  55. Fredelyn Espedilla says:

    I have learned a lot to get more out of my dollar. The saving habit should start early – to make us live a lot better.

  56. Ashley K says:

    The best thing I learned was how to save money and not touch it, or miss it too much from the budget. 🙂

  57. Matt Vollmar says:

    The best lesson i learned was not to put all eggs into one basket when it comes to saving money for retirement!

  58. Eddie says:

    I learned that the younger one is when one starts to save, the better. It’s never too late to begin saving but the later in life that one is, the harder they have to work at growing their savings.

  59. Rena says:

    I learned that kids learn how to treat money by watching their parents spend it. You have to set an example everyday, and not say one thing but do another.

  60. Patty says:

    Saving is a habit; easy once it’s established.

  61. Shy says:

    This info is gold…wish I had it when I was sending my kids to shool…well its ot too late…I have started teaching my grandson, who will soon be ready to enter the real world…saving & beingfrugal in every aspect & teach him debit & charge cards…so he knows what he is spending, as one it is coming out of his acct immediately the other well has to be paid at the end of each month–smart way to build credit too with the charge card. Learn to be frugal. Thanksfor all the tips

  62. paul says:

    it was

  63. Acc says:

    There were so many good point in the talk, things we all need to know about and adhere to. One of the most interesting items that I did not know about and will emphasize to my children is the use of social network sites where hackers can find out commonly used passwords i.e. mom’s maiden name (which is often used as an identifier) I will strongly encourage them to use secure passwords and not pay bills from a public place. Thanks for so many tips.

  64. Brian says:

    I’ve started to introduce talks of money and savings with my son as a result of the talk. Thanks for hosting it!

  65. Samuel Bond says:

    Money Talk Night showed me how important it is to save and stay on track with my finances!

  66. Dee says:

    Saving and investing is something that should be taught in high school. When you are young, you just don’t understand that the “golden years” are really just around the corner. Starting young is key. I wish I had been taught that when I was young instead of learning it the hard way and so much later in life.

  67. Bob says:

    It’s really important to watch what you put on on Facebook.

  68. Maura says:

    I have learned that I will model fiscal responsibility for my children.

    By example I intend to teach them how to tend to a budget, involve them in my investment decisions (real estate mostly) and the sacrafices we are making now so that we can have a more comfortable future and options to fund their future i.e college.

    Thanks for providing such a great forum.

  69. tess says:

    I’m glad i have all the info, my kids are young and i plan to teach them all about saving.
    tcogbill at live dot com

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