As most of us are still trying to work from home, it’d be nice to get the kids to help around the house and earn an allowance. There’s a fairly new app that helps accomplish that, called “Busy Kids”. Founder of the app, Greg Murset says he hopes the app helps kids learn some fundamental skills.
“How do you teach kids two primary things: work ethic and how to be smart with their money?” Murset knows something about both. As a financial planner and father of 6. He came up with BusyKids. Here’s how it works: The parent signs up, connects their bank account and then adds children and their chores.
For example: the app suggests cleaning their room is worth $1 a week, feeding the pets, 50-cents a day. You can adjust the earnings. For older kids, mowing the lawn may be worth $9. “We assign chores to the children, they do them, they click it off,” explains Murset. “We keep track of that and we’re going to send you a notification on Thursday as a parent, that says ‘hey tomorrow is Friday. It’s payday”. The kids have earned $25, do you want to approve the payday or not?'”.
If the parent approves the payday, Murset says the app takes it from there. “We pull that money into our system, from their bank account, and then we divide that money out or allocate it into savings, sharing and spending.”
Parents set the percentage of each category.
“That’s exactly what we do as adults,” says Murset. “We work, earn some money. We put some of that money in savings, which is like a 401k, we share with a church or charity or something we care about, and then we spend the rest. If you want to teach them a balanced way, this is how you do it. You save, you share, you spend. Every single time you earn money.” Their spending percentage is put on a debit card they can use whenever they want to buy something in a store or online.
Trisha Benson of Reno, NV has been using the BusyKid app for 6 months for her 5 year old daughter Indra.
“I wanted her to contribute to the family chores just like the rest of us do,” Benson said. “Then she got interested in earning extra money. We set it up with cleaning her room once a week.” Soon, Indra was looking for more chores. She was given the task of cleaning the baseboards of their home. Something Trisha hates to do but something Indra can do easily.
“It’s been really valuable just in terms of math skills at a young age and they’re learning how to manage money and it’s absolutely stopped the tantrums that happened in the store because we just look at the app and if she has the money great, if she doesn’t, she doesn’t,” Benson said. Kids can donate to charities within the app. Kids can also use their ‘save’ category to buy fractional shares of real stock in companies such as Disney or another company they’re familiar with. The app is free. There’s an 8 dollar per year charge for the debit card.
Quarantine has been good for the app as parents are searching for ways to keep kids busy. In just the past month BusyKids has gone from approximately 40,000 users to over 200,000.
The app is free for iPhones and Android devices and there is no subscription required. If parents want to add money to a Visa debit card the kids can use, there is an $8 fee per year per child.