How to Digitize Your Kids’ Allowance and Chores with a New App – Current
Just when you think we’ve moved to a completely cashless society, it’s time for a weekly allowance for your kids! How many times have you found yourself without cash when it comes to their weekly payout? A new app and technology platform — Current — can actually help you digitize your child’s allowance, their chores, and help them learn about saving money and charitable giving! Lifestyle entrepreneur and parenting expert Danielle Smith joined EverydayFamily’s Shiloh Johnson to tell us more! See the full interview here.
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Current is an app-based smart debit card for kids and teenagers. It allows parents to teach their children financial responsibility and money management. Within the Current app, you can manage spending, saving, and giving.
Smith explained that you, as the parent, go to the website, make an account in your name, link the account to your bank account, and add your kids. You may be wondering since this is all linked through the parents’ bank accounts, is this safe? Will your personal banking information be at risk? The answer is no. For Current, safety is a huge priority. Once you add your kids, you download the app. On the Current app you can see you as the parent and your kids' profiles. Once your account and profiles are set up, a physical debit card arrives for your kids to use. Then you can show them the accounts on the app and help them set up their spending and saving the way they want.
For example, you can make 60% of their allowance available for spending, 30% can go straight into savings, and 10% can be set aside for giving. Smith gave this as an example: “If I give my kid $50, she can see right away that $15 of that is going into savings, $5 is going into giving, and she has $30 to spend right away.”
And, as a bonus, the app is connected to a bunch of charities, to make giving more seamless. So, if you kid is a huge fan of animals, you can look at all the charitable organizations that benefit animals and decide where the giving money is going. You can also change who you donate to very easily, in case your child wants to support many causes.
Now, an allowance is one thing, what about giving your child a chance to earn extra money through chores? You can manage your Current app settings for a set allowance, or money for certain tasks completed. And, if you're curious about the “going rate” for chores in your area, the app has data on that!
Every time your child uses the debit card, you get an alert showing you where they spent money and how much was spent. If you don’t like where your child is spending, you can close off access for spending at certain places. (So if you don’t want your preteen spending all their money at Starbucks, you can limit that!) With this app, you can get your kids thinking about finances and responsible spending before they are away on their own in college, where it’s often “sink or swim.” Anytime you feel the need, the account can be paused or shut down, or certain vendors can be blocked.
You may be wondering, is there an option to not use a debit card, like with younger kids, for example? Is the app still useful without the card? The card is still pretty important to using this app, so parents would use the card with younger kids, to manage it. The debit card gives your children real world spending experiences and allows you to see exactly where your children are spending their money! It really helps teach those valuable financial lessons and sets up plenty of conversation opportunities. Talk to your kids about responsible spending, saving, and giving. Talk to them about the difference between a debit card and a credit card! The Current app is easy to navigate, has parental controls, and you can choose whether or not you want the debit card to work on ATMs.
It’s never too early to get started teaching about money. This app makes money easy to see and understand. Go to Current.com for more information! There is a slight cost associated with the Current app. But there are a variety of payment plans, starting at just $2/month.
Danielle Smith is the author of Mom, Incorporated: A Guide to Business + Baby.