iPiggiBank: What we are? What we aren’t? And why.

As the CEO of iPiggiBank, one question I am often asked is, “Do kids get real money from iPiggiBank for chores?” The answer is NO. And, here’s why.

iPiggiBank is for real families that want an incredibly helpful way to manage and approve real chores in their home, teach responsibility and introduce real money management skills. Parents are the bank so kids earnVERY REAL money from a family’s budget.

It’s your family. It’s your money. iPiggiBank is here to help.

Other chore and allowance sites use debit cards, IOUs, stickers, points, pre-paid cards (which may or may not be cashed in). When a child is ready to use their allowance, iPiggiBank notifies a parent(s) and gives them options with links to — their family’s bank homepage to move money into their child’s savings account; retailer sites to shop from their child’s wish list; and pre-selected charity pages to donate to directly. VERY REAL money comes from parents for jobs well done.

iPiggiBank is a tool for parents to help encourage their kids in a FUN way to learn responsibility, earn money, manage it wisely(!) and elevate conversations at home about healthy financial habits. We take it so seriously that we created an offline education program called, Money Management for Kids (stay tuned for upcoming dates and locations).

Still open to questions though . . .

Shara

Out of the Mouth of Babes

As I pile up the boxes of Girl Scout cookies on my kitchen counter that I ordered to support cousins, friends and friends of friends, my 8 year old son asks me, “How much did all these cookies cost?”  I look at him ( a little surprised that he’s not excited about eating cookies) and his face reflects genuine shock and concern that I have not been thoughtful in spending ‘our’ money.  Did the student just become the teacher?

Maybe. This is a proud mommy moment. He’s applying the money management skills that we discuss regularly in simple everyday routines. From talks in the car on our way to baseball practice on needs vs wants or how much money he needs to save up to contribute towards his new bike, it’s all sinking in! He gets it. Yippee, I’m raising a money savvy kid.

I reassure him that supporting the Girl Scouts is part of our ‘sharing’ and giving back and thank him for asking me. If he didn’t I wouldn’t have thought to explain why we used our funds for this cause.  Our kids are always watching and learning from us  . . .

Share your experience and tell me about your super money savvy kid!

Thanks,
Shara

“What’s the Sweet Spot for Allowance?”

I recently had coffee with a friend and our conversation wandered onto the subject of chores and allowance. We agreed that teaching our kids responsibility through chores has endless benefits like, sense of accomplishment, pride in their work, teamwork and feeling connected to their family. Then, my friend asked me a great question — What’s the right amount for allowance?

Here are three suggestions to consider when seeking an answer to this question. Keep in mind, every family has their own unique fingerprint and with a little thought can determine what will work best for their family’s ‘allowance sweet spot.’

1. Budget

What’s your budget? According to a study from Cambridge University, kids money habits are set by the age of 7 years. So, seize this opportunity to discuss with your kids what are your families’ needs (i.e., food and clothing) and wants (i.e., toys) and how that sets your family budget. Then, you can talk about what’s remaining in the family budget for allowance.

2. Your Values

First Conversation? For many parents this is the first conversation with their kids about money and their values around it. It’s an opportunity for a parent to take a step back and think about how they learned about money. What influence did their parents or caregivers have on their values toward money? Parents have substantial power at home to foster healthy money skills.

“Allowances shouldn’t be given just because the child thinks they’re entitled to getting money. It should be given as a way to teach values and also to encourage independence.” – Suze Orman, Interview with WalletPop.

3. Grow with it

Start small, grow with it. Pick a number that you feel represents the task(s) at hand and as your child’s responsibilities grow so will their allowance. Take away, don’t sweat the bottom line number now because it has room to grow.

Mix it up to hit the ‘sweet spot.’ Try these tactics together to tackle this question and you are sure to get closer to finding the right answer for your family.

Do you have more tips to add? I would love to hear them.

Shara Nadler, CEO & Founder