A recent comment on one of my older posts on setting an allowance led me to LittleMoneyBags, which is an online allowance accounting system. Kind of a neat idea, although I’m not sure that it’s something that we would actually make use of.
According to the site:
Little Money Bags is a fun, high-tech tool that helps you teach your kids fiscal responsibility. It is a supercharged online virtual piggy bank that helps your kids manage their money. Picture a cross between your childhood piggy bank and your online banking account of today and you’ll have a good idea of what Little Money Bags is. It is powerful yet easy to use and has many advanced features like direct deposit for allowances and online transaction histories.
Here’s how it works: After signing up for a family account you simply set up piggy bank accounts for each of your kids. You are then able to make ‘virtual deposits’ into the accounts for things like allowances and chores. A ‘virtual deposit’ involves no real money; it is akin to an I.O.U. from you to your child. Your kids are able to log into their individual online piggy bank accounts and see their current balance as well as transaction history, much like real online bank accounts. When it comes time to get money out of the piggy bank your child fills out an online withdrawal form and then comes and asks you for the money. Likewise, your child makes deposits by filling out a deposit form online and giving you the money. Little Money Bags thus helps your kids keep track of all of their money and helps you teach them fiscal responsibility in an intuitive and fun environment.
While this would definitely simplify things when it comes to keeping track of weekly allowance payments, I prefer to sit down with the ‘money bowl’ and help the kids count out their weekly allowance — it’s good math practice, and it makes the money all the more tangible to them. And as far as keeping track of their savings goes, we’ve created subaccounts at ING Direct ($25 account opening bonus) for each of our kids, so they (actually we) can easily log in and check on their money whenever they want. And they love earning interest!
So how much does LittleMoneyBags cost? A yearlong subscription runs $12 and allows you to track up to six kids. All in all, this seems like a reasonable deal if you’re looking for this sort of tool.
For more info on our family’s allowance system, be sure to check out:
Kids and Money: Setting an Allowance
Kids and Money: Long Term Savings
Kids and Money: Tweaking our Allowance System
Our Allowance System (from Raising4Boys.com)
2 Responses to “Tracking Allowance: Little Money Bags”
My daughter is only 3 years old right now and we’re on the envelope system. She gets 3 envelopes: spending, saving, and giving. She doesn’t get an allowance but commission for certain chores so she can better understand the work equals money, no work equals no money. It’s cool to see that she is slowly getting it.
I think it’s important for kids to make that visual reference to money-in-money-out. She can dip into her spending money when she wants some candy or toy at the store. And, we make sure the transaction is run separately so she can hand the cashier her money and get change back.
Back in the day, I used something called a “notebook” and a “pencil” to record my weekly allowance. 😉 When I was ready to spend or invest, I’d go to mom with my account book and cash in. I also recorded wages there when as a teen I would help my parents with bigger projects outside the normal “chore” realm.
I think an account notebook is a better teaching tool than an automagic online service, but safer and tidier than dealing in cash, particularly when sums build as children get older.