This post was done in collaboration with BusyKid. I received compensation in return for my honest review. Every opinion stated is 100% mine.
Tired of your kids asking for money? BusyKid is the solution!
Jordan has been circling around me for hours, like a bird of prey waiting for the right time to swoop down and catch his lunch. I am sitting quietly on the couch and he has made three rounds within the past seven minutes. I know he wants something and most likely it is going to cost me, dearly.
I tell myself “wait for it, wait for it…” as he makes his final descent.
“Hey mom?!” (and there it is!) “Do you have anything I can do around the house? For like, let’s say $13?” AHA! There’s probably a video game he wants and after asking his brothers to pitch in, the strange amount he’s requesting is the exact amount he is missing. My kid, I know him all too well!
In the past, we have used “chore sticks” as a way to pay the kids an allowance and give them chores to do around the house. But as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end,” especially as the kids get older. They now gravitate towards, and embrace technology in every facet of their lives, so therefore their mom’s homemade craft sticks with chores are no longer cool.
I recently signed our family up for BusyKid, but I have not yet told the kids.
BusyKid is an online chore system, teaching kids the value of working hard to earn an allowance, and then allocating said allowance into three buckets of “save”, “share” and “spend/ invest.”
BusyKid is what I view as an age-appropriate “conversation-starter” about financial literacy, one of the most important ways you can prepare your children for the real world.
Having worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years, I know first-hand the importance of teaching financial responsibility at a young age. You are giving your children a healthy relationship with money, if they learn how to share a portion of their earnings with charities, investing a majority of their income for long term goals and only spending a small portion on short term goals.
How does BusyKid work?
- Parents set up a profile on-line for each child.
- Chores are assigned based on the child’s age.
- BusyKid suggests a number of chores, and parents can easily add their own.
- The dollar value and frequency of each chore is easily customized.
- The child does the chores and the completed tasks are checked off on the BusyKid website.
- Friday is payday!
- Payments for each of the kids are processed either via a credit card (for a small fee) or a direct bank withdrawal (free).
- The allowances are held in an FDIC insured account for your benefit.
- Allowances are allocated according to a predetermined split between: Saving, Sharing and Spending/ Investing.
I showed Jordan the BusyKid website, his daily chores and how much they pay. He gave me a funny look. He was blown away at the fact that 10% of his allowances would go to a charity. “Really mama, you want me to GIVE my hard-earned money away?”
[bctt tweet=”Your kids are NOT too young for #FinancialLiteracy – Start today! https://BusyKid.com/mama @BusyKid16″ username=”MamaintheNow”]
Sharing through BusyKid:
We have taught the kids to be charitable with their toys and other belongings, but when Jordan saw a dollar amount attached to his donation he honestly hesitated. One thing is, giving your gently used toys and belongings to children in need. But cash money, that’s a whole other level of generosity, one which he will learn to embrace over time.
We look over BusyKid’s list of charities and Jordan’s face immediately lights up. Last year, Jordan and our entire family went on the summer vacation of a lifetime to LEGOLAND California as a Make a Wish Foundation family. Jordan, our wish kid, points and says “OK, it’s fine if my money goes to the Make a Wish Foundation. The money will help pay for another wish kid like me, to get his wish granted, right?”
BusyKid currently offers a collaboration with 13 well-respected charities. Children and their parents can pick any one of the organizations to receive the charitable portion of the child’s allowance on a weekly basis.
Spending/ Investing with BusyKid:
OK, so Jordan already had his allowances spent before they were in his account. However, had he been at a loss for what to spend his earnings on, BusyKid features numerous fun gift card options.
There are gift cards for kids of all ages, and who doesn’t love shopping with gift cards?! Simply select the merchant you wish to receive a gift card from and the amount. The electronic gift card is then stored on your account.
Kids may also choose the “cash out” option and funds from their allowances will be transferred back into your bank account, for the parents to finalize the “cash out.”
We have educational accounts set up for the kids’ college tuition and expenses. However, we have yet to sit down and let them take an active role in the investments. We have talked about stocks, but the concept is still abstract to them, which is understandable. They haven’t had a chance to feel truly “invested” in the process yet.
When I showed Jordan the stock investments available to him through BusyKid, he immediately became more interested and acutely aware of the fact that THIS was an opportunity for him to make more money – without doing extra chores. (Yes, this is Jordan’s primary objective: make more, do less!)
The website lists various well-known public companies, with their logo displayed. The brand recognition is a big help and motivator for kids to pick stocks in companies they already know and love. At the click of a button, you have access to basic historical charts, stock performance and company information and news, all the things you and your child need to know before making an investment decision.
- Stocks are purchased through Stock Pile.
- Your child’s investments will be held in a custodial account with your name for the benefit of your child.
- You can purchase fractional shares, so there’s no need to wait until your child has several hundred dollars ready to invest before making your first purchase.
- Once you select which stock and the dollar amount to invest, an email will be sent to you (the parent) with instructions of how to open a Stock Pile account.
- The performance of your child’s stock investments is easily tracked under “My Stocks.”
- Clicking the button takes you directly to Stock Pile’s website for performance data and the current value of the position, even the fractional shares.
- NEW BusyKid families will, for a limited time, get $10 in stocks (one offer per child, two children per family).
Our BusyKid Family:
After I showed Jordan the BusyKid website, I sat down with our three other kids. My conversations with them were different, as their ages span from 3 to 11. However, the gist of our conversations were the same: do chores, work hard, earn money, save and spend wisely… and investing may even grow your earnings!
The chores have now become a daily habit, payday (Friday) is celebrated like a National Holiday in our house and our conversations around saving/ sharing and spending become more meaningful as the weeks pass.
BusyKid has given our family an earning/ spending/ investing platform on which to base our conversations about money management. Our kids are still young. However, now is the time to instill good spending and savings habits.
Once the kids realize the value of investing and the benefits of diligently saving, they will (hopefully) grow into financially responsible young adults.
Healthy money management habits don’t develop overnight and starting the conversation when the kids are in high school may be a little late.
I highly recommend you join me in raising financially responsible children. I love using BusyKid as a tool to show children from their vantage point, how money is earned, saved, shared and spent.
Enroll your ENTIRE FAMILY today for only $14.95 per YEAR and get the first 30 days FREE!
NEW BusyKid families will, for a limited time, get $10 in stocks (one offer per child, two children per family).
Start the conversation today… your kids are not too young, it’s not too soon!