Jenice Armstrong: A Kardashian Kard? Forget it!

Posted: November 10, 2010

COMEDIAN Chris Rock famously joked that a father's job is to keep his daughter off the pole. Well, here's another bit of celebrity-inspired wisdom about bringing up daughters. Whatever you do, don't let her try to keep up with the Kardashians.

That new, prepaid debit card that the sisters Kim, Khortney and Kloe introduced yesterday may sound innocent, especially since it's not a credit card and it's aimed at teenagers. But don't be fooled. Not only does it not make financial sense, but the last thing you want is to let anything associated with these women to come close to your wallet.

A little glamour is fine. But the party-loving stars of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" exist in a whole other stratosphere from the rest of us. The KK sisters probably spend on shoes and lip gloss what the average American family needs to live for a year.

You certainly don't want your kid thinking anything about these dames when she's sidling up to a cash register with an armload of clothes.

I wish the Kardashians had stuck to selling clothes and sunless tanner. This is no way to introduce your kid to the world of finance. Cardholders don't get a single penny of interest from their funds. So, your daughter could have $1,500 sitting in an account and instead of having it grow, it will get chipped away bit by bit even if she never uses the card. That's a recipe for failure.

There's plenty of other fine print associated with having a Kardashian Kard in your wallet. For instance, there's something called a six-month option that will set you back $59.95 or $99.95 for a year, just for the privilege of owning the silly thing. A one-time use card costs $9.95. On top of that, there's a monthly fee of $7.95 and additional fees each time your little darling withdraws funds at an ATM machine or when you transfer money from another debit card onto the Kardashian Kard.

"Can you hear me rolling my eyes over the phone? This is going a little too far," said Farnoosh Torabi, author of You're So Money: Live Rich Even When You're Not, a financial tell-all for young adults. "Now we are getting into territory that I have to say is irresponsible . . . It lures the consumer to a product under false pretenses."

The implied message is if you purchase this Kardashian Kard, you too can have what they have - a life marked by designer labels and other excessive consumerism.

"It can be dangerous to embrace that lifestyle because it portrays wealth as something that is materialistic, that's brand-label driven," continued Torabi, the resident financial expert on TLC's "Real Simple, Real Life." "When you get celebrities involved who aren't role models, it doesn't make sense to me. They do nothing to improve a person's understanding of finances. At worst, they could interfere with someone's ability to save well and live within their means. These celebrities portray a lifestyle that is aspirational . . . We underestimate how much celebrity culture can influence people's perception of money and perceptions of wealth."Not to mention, mess up a gal's wallet.

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