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A Captive Audience

As everyone hunkers down in their homes, we are all wondering how to make the best of this time. Advisors are challenged to find ways to assist their clients remotely and help with what may be a difficult financial period.

This may be just the time to work with your clients to reinforce the tenets of financial responsibility with their children. They will appreciate the demonstration that we are all in this together and the fact that their kids are doing their part. In addition to imparting age appropriate concepts of financial knowledge and responsibility, there are a plethora of innovative digital tools out there, many of which have taken the place of the ubiquitous ceremony of opening one’s first bank account. While everyone has a favorite, and this is not a complete list, here is a brief sampling of some of the more popular free tools out there:

Chore and allowance apps:

iAllowance – iAllowance is a chore tracker, automatic allowance payment (to a bank account) and “reward” (such as an hour of video time) application that can handle multiple children and bank accounts
Bankaroo – Bankaroo is designed primarily for kids (generally 5 to 14) to help them learn about money, budgeting and goals, savings and financial responsibility. It has multiple versions ranging from free to one that allows for managing multiple accounts and transaction capability
PiggyBot – PiggyBot, an app available for Apple device users, geared towards younger kids. It’s free and is a “virtual piggy bank” that helps children set and track their goals and allowance
RoosterMoney – Allowance Manager – this app is similar to iAllowance but geared to a younger audience and includes a “star” chart, lets kids create goals and allows the whole family to keep track of spending

For older kids, there are apps that also include a debit/prepaid card functionality (caveat is that some of these do have fees or monthly charges):

gohenry – gohenry offers a range of savings, goals, budgeting and spending functions along with a debit card, all with parental controls to act as a safety check
Greenlight – Greenlight is a similar app that allows users to track chores, set spending limits and set parameters for where the debit card can be used (anywhere, restaurants and gas stations only, etc.)
FamZoo – FamZoo is an educative application and prepaid or IOU function that bills itself as suitable for kids of all ages, with the goal of helping kids, teens and parents.