It’s never too early to teach children about money management. In a cashless society, technology plays a large role.
There are dozens of smartphone applications making it easier for kids, and parents, to balance chores and financial responsibilities.
“I think students should learn both what it’s like to operate with cash as well as — like most of us operate — with credit cards or debit cards,” said Jodi Bloemker, director of community investment with the United Way of St. Joseph. “You need to have an understanding of both.”
BusyKid, for example, allows kids to complete chores for a weekly allowance. Funds can be transferred to cash, gift cards or BusyKids’ Spend Card.
But the technology also is helping kids learn investments and generosity. Children of all ages are able to buy stock or donate to a charity. Stock options on the app include Disney, Xbox, Apple, Ford, Nestle and Google.
For charities, a preset amount of 10 percent can be transferred to a preferred organization each week or moved to a parent in order to pay in cash.
“It’s important for children to see that, ‘oh, it’s just on this card, it’s not real money,’” Bloemker said. “I think it is important for them to see that, ‘no, there’s really dollars tied to that.’ It’s not just a swipe of the card and then money goes somewhere.”
There are a handful of charities tied into the BusyKid app including the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Humane Society, Children’s Miracle Network, Make-A-Wish, Special Olympics, Toys For Tots and the Ronald McDonald House Charities.