Spend A Day With A Money-Smart Millennium

I’m Annemarie Hansen. College senior. Veteran babysitter. iPiggiBank Marketing & Social Media Associate.  Money-smart millennium.


Working for iPiggiBank for the past 2 years has offered me more incredible insight on kids’ financial literacy than I could have ever imagined. To my surprise (and to my luck) it has also helped me with my own financial savvy. The skills we are instilling in young kids will stay with them long after they graduate from iPiggiBank’s Money Management for Kids programs – and I am living proof.

Walk through a day with me to see all the different ways iPiggiBank’s money management skills and core concepts of Save, Share & Shop have an impact:



As the sun rises, so do Dad and I, running the familiar route through town. Running is many things to me: a bonding experience with my Dad, a way to stay healthy, and a way to give back. Together we ran the 2014 NYC Marathon and raised over $5,200 on behalf of Team for Kids, a charity that helps support free, youth fitness programs in over 400 schools and community centers nationwide.


After a quick shower, I head over to babysit for a few hours. I open the door to eager greetings of “Hi Ed!!” (It stands for Evil Dictator, but I pinky promise it’s a term of affection). We might spend the morning having breakfast at the diner, searching Marshall’s for a good deal on new jeans, or walking over to feed the neighbor’s pets while they are away. Just as iPiggiBank is helping parents start (and continue) the “awkward” or “hushed” money conversation at home, it also helps babysitters like me. If ‘my charge’ wants a new phone case, he has to decide if that’s really what he wants to spend his money on; and if we go to the grocery store with a budget, sometimes we have to pick between the cookie and the vitamin water. These conversations help transform me from an always-says-no Ed (yep, “Evil Dictator”) to a teacher and trusty advisor.


Once I’m off the clock, I head out to do some grocery shopping of my own. No longer a part of your parents’ or university’s meal plan, you quickly realize how expensive buying groceries can be. However, it doesn’t have to be. I plan my week’s meals around what I know is on sale and I’m careful not to overbuy on fresh groceries that can turn rotten quickly and go to waste. I even bring my own reusable bags to help the environment. Just like iPiggiBank’s Receipt Challenge, I always check to make sure I was charged correctly and received discounts where I should have. 


When I get home, I cozy up on the couch with my Study Abroad scrapbook. I often have trouble finding the words to describe my incredibly amazing semester in Australia. Never before have I experienced such freedom and responsibility – along with a critical need for smart budgeting.  Since traveling to Australia was something I had always dreamed of doing, I spent a long time saving up before my departure. This involved picking up extra jobs, putting in extra hours, and splitting my paychecks – half went towards Australia savings and the other half I could use for spending. Because I planned ahead, saved up, and budgeted accordingly while I was there, I was able to experience all that I wanted to and more. Again, iPiggiBank’s teachings to save wisely for something special rings true.


As I shut my scrapbook, I skip into the kitchen to help out someone whom I have my ability to study abroad – and a plethora of other things – to thank for; my mom! Helping prepare dinner for my family is not only a bonding time with mom, it’s also my way of being a family-team player. I know that our happy, healthy, and loving home is a product of each of us doing our part. iPiggiBank reinforces family time by finding a helpful role for everyone in the home. Besides, who cannot give back to the people who love and support you most?


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 . . .


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!


“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