Simplify chores, assign rewards, handle allowance in the digital age

Busykid investingBusyKid is not an app I’m using yet, but something that probably will be useful when my oldest becomes un-grounded sometime in 2074 and can get her allowance/social security.

The company contacted me a while back and I’ve been reading on it for a few days. I just found it neat. There are no underlying monetary exchanges going on unless BusyKid wants to pay me for the chore of putting up something I was interested in enough to post about in the first place hint hint wink wink.

I started thinking about this as we’ve got stickers at the moment as a reward chart for our oldest. But what do you do with today’s connected kids in terms of teaching them to handle money?

In olden times it was give them a couple of bucks a week and let them spend it at the candy store or save up for an Atari 2600.

Today’s kids are different. In-game items, toys are purchased via Amazon, haven’t seen a dedicated candy store around for a while, and some kids are ecosocially conscious.

BusyKid does a lot more than just doling out allowance and assigning monetary rewards for chores. Kids can invest their money in stocks turning them into day traders, funds are held in an FDIC insured bank account, and you can load out money onto gift cards for over 250 outlets. You can also cash-out some funds which returns some money to the parent’s account so they can buy something elsewhere.

BusyKid next paydayShould they be interested in helping out a charity, there’s a small list that will hopefully grow before I get around to it.

What may be hard to get around is that your kid is going to be dealing with real money and has the capabilities to invest, move, gain and lose large sums based on what’s happening in the world. This could lead to some problems when a kid who’s been working for a year puts all their eggs in one basket and then it goes belly up.

Reading further into the BusyKid FAQ it appears that selling stock requires parental approval. Potentially good unless your little day trader is much more connected than you are.

Each stock transaction appears to cost $2.99, which is probably why the parental approval is required for sells. Not sure if that’s on buys or just sells though.

Individual chores can be assigned by days, weeks, one time, etc. Also amounts paid for said chore.

Grandparents or relatives can give “bonuses” which can be for chores completed or just “hey kid, here’s some money, go invest it for me”.

Appears to currently cost $12 a year with additional costs based on purchasing stock.

Fairly interesting platform. You’ve got a mini monetary ecosystem, payment, investing, savings, charity, etc. Kids can see what they’ve earned and how much time they have left before it’s payday.

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about chores going into a fractional portion of allowance however. Maybe I’m more used to the idea of “do it or forget it” though. I’m sure it varies from kid to kid.

I’ll probably be checking this out in the coming year or so. What are your thoughts? Is it neat or is it employing your child?

You can check out the service and app at BusyKid.com