Want to Teach Your Kids About Finance? This is Way Better Than a Piggy Bank

Image: Kidebit
_Dinkel_ under Creative Commons

The days of piggy banks are so over.

Thanks to a new app called KiDebit, you can teach your kids financial responsibility — and keep track of their allowances — in way that makes much more sense for our modern world than piles of coins and crumpled-up dollar bills.

As Lifehacker recently reported, KiDebit is a smartphone app that creates a virtual debit card for kids. Parents can add to (or subtract from) the balance as their children earn or spend money, eliminating the need to keep cash on hand for allowances and helping kids learn about the true value of their money and how to spend it well.

Check out these awesome benefits of the app:

You Won’t Have to Keep Track of Cash

Let’s be honest; how many of you hold onto your kids’ cash until they’re ready to spend it, knowing they might lose it otherwise (or waste it)? With KiDebit, there’s no cash to track — just a running total on the app that lets your child see how much money she currently has to spend. (Like this idea? Click to tweet it!)

The money is still coming out of your account, but you no longer have to worry about “owing” your child this week’s allowance because you don’t have the right bills on hand to pay her. Whenever your kid has earned some money, simply log onto the app and add that amount to her total.

It’s More Like the Real World

Very few of us deal with physical dollars and cents anymore, so the younger your kids are when they get used to using a debit card, the more responsible they’ll be when it comes time to use a real one. And a kid who starts learning at age four that money spent on a card equals real money will be much less likely to go wild when he turns 18 and starts receiving credit card offers.

You can even order a physical card (or print one out on your home printer) to give your kid the full experience of having something to carry in his wallet. There are plenty of fun design options, and each one has a QR code you can scan to bring up your child’s balance on your smartphone.

It Helps Kids Learn to Budget

Tired of your kids asking if they can have this or that at the store? Now they can check themselves. Since they can see at a glance how much money is in their accounts, and they know that when balance gets to zero, they’re out, they’ll think twice about which purchases are really “worth it.”

KiDebit also allows kids to set up separate goals, like “buying,” “selling” and “giving,” to determine how they’d like to use their money — great practice for responsible money management when they’re older.

Your Turn: Do you think your child is ready for a KiDebit card? Why or why not?

Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor who runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do. Follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.

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