PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Kristi Woolsey has two sons, and she is concerned about their future.
Specifically, as it relates to spending money.
“I want to raise my kids to be financially responsible,” Woolsey said.
A co-worker told Kristi about “BusyKid,” a modern-day method that pays kids for doing chores.
It’s a free app designed and created by a certified financial planner.
“They do those chores, mark them off. We keep track of that, ”says app designer Gregg Murset. “Then literally on a Thursday, you’re going to get a message that says,‘ Hey, tomorrow’s Friday. It’s payday. This is what the kids have earned. Do you want to approve the payroll, yes or no? ’”
In two years, Woolsey’s two boys learned quickly.
“If I want something, I have to earn it. I have to go get it, ”Woolsey said.
Murset says that is the first valuable lesson of BusyKid.
“I call that OPM – other people’s money. When kids spend OPM, they don’t really care. But when they spend their own, they care a lot, ”Murset said.
Woolsey’s older son, Miles, can earn up to $ 15 per week by doing his assigned chores around the family’s Pittsburgh home.
He also gets paid money for brushing his teeth every night and walking the family’s two dogs.
The app appeals to kids because they embrace new technology quickly.
It also takes advantage of the idea that money and finances are largely digital these days.
Gone are the days of paying the weekly allowance with dollar bills and spare change.
Murset says you would never say, “Here’s a pig, and we’re going to put bills in it and coins in it. Like what? No, Nobody does that anymore. If they do, they should maybe rethink it because that’s not the real way that money works anymore. It is numbers on the little screen. ”
On pay day, money from Kristi’s checking account is transferred to her son’s BusyKid debit card. It also is split into three categories: to give, save and spend.
Parents and kids decide how much of their money they want to designate into each of those three categories.
Kids have the opportunity to buy fractional shares of stock in real companies – companies they know like Tesla, McDonald’s, Nike and Netflix. They also can choose where they want to donate some of their money.
BusyKid has been around for a while. Woolsey has used it for the last two years.
However, in April, Murset says 47,000 people signed up.
“Nobody’s going to school. They’re all at home, like, Holy smokes, what are we doing? We need a little structure, ”Murset said.
For Murset, it is critical kids understand how to earn money, how to save, how to invest and how to give to the charities of their choice.
He says it sets them up for lifelong financial success.
“They are going to make better decisions. And if you look at that out into the future, boy, you really changing the game for these kids, ”Murset said.
If you choose to provide a “BusyKid” debit card, there is a $ 7.99 per child per year fee for the card, but that is the only fee you will pay.
BusyKid is available for Android and Apple devices and can be downloaded for free.