The Wall Street Journal

App Rewards Kids for Chores, Teaches Value of Money

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Anna Kreditor doesn't keep a chore chart anymore. She uses RoosterMoney. The app and others like it are helping parents motivate kids and sparking conversations about money at an early age. Photo: Adam Falk/The Wall Street Journal


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- Penny.
I do not like chores.
Because chores mean work and work is hard.
I do the chores so I can get money.
- [Host] But this 11 year old
isn't getting his weekly allowance in cash.
- I never have cash on me.
Did you also make your bed?
- [Host] Instead, Anna Kreditor turned to an app
called RoosterMoney to manage
her kids allowances.
Think of it like a digital chore chart.
Parents attach dollar amounts to tasks
and assign them to their kids,
kids then see the list
on their phones or iPod Touches.
- [Son] I have to make the bed,
unload the dishwasher,
walk the dog,
and I also have to clean after the cat.
- If they do all of their basic chores
they will get $30 and then the extra jobs
are about $1, $2 extra.
- [Host] Kids check off chores
as they're complete,
then parents approve and pay out.
For Anna's son, payday is every Wednesday.
- Okay, today is the payday.
Okay, I just added $30 to your account.
- Thanks.
Now I have $42, come here, gimme a hug!
- [Host] Once the amount is paid,
kids can then open their app
to see their new total
and decide what to do with it.
They can save it.
- [Anna] He's trying to save it.
- [Host] Or they can spend it.
- I usually spend it on Fortnite.
- [Host] In Rooster Money,
the balance is just a number.
To spend money kids still need
their parents card,
parents then subtract the amount they spend
from a kid's total in the app.
Apps like Gohenry and Greenlight
pair a child's account with an actual debit card.
Parents can set limits
how much kids can spend using the card
and where they can spend it.
Anna, however, isn't interested
in giving her son a card just yet.
- My son once had a prepaid gift card,
he lost it. (laughing)
You know, kids lose things,
and they're gonna lose it.
- [Host] One thing he's more focused on,
his total on Rooster Money.
- He likes to see money grow.
I guess maybe it's similar to earning,
you know, like how you play Mario Kart
and you're collecting coins,
I think it's a bit similar to him, maybe.
He thinks that he does things
and coins get collected.
- Like it's a save money to spend money game.
- [Host] But not like a Fortnite game.
- Not even close.
- [Host] Anna says her son's ability
to track his balance
has spurred him to do bonus chores.
- [Son] If I ask to walk both dogs, I can,
to get $20 instead of $10.
- I like that he understands
that in order to make money
you need to work a little bit.
It's a good skill.
You don't get it for free.
And if you want nice big things
you have to save money.
What are you saving for?
- I'm trying to save for my computer.
- You have $42, you need $1,000,
can you calculate how many weeks
of regular allowance it will take you to save?
- Okay, 33 weeks!
- I make it into a learning lesson.
I keep telling him,
if you want a computer you gotta save your money.
So, let's see how bad he wants it.
(laughing)

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