Teach Your Kids Fiscal Responsibilty with Virtual Piggy

With so many television commercials targeted at kids during the holiday season, I can’t even begin to count how many times I heard the sentence, “Mom, I want that!”  In trying to raise fiscally responsible daughters, I tried explaining the value of money many times only to be met with blank stares generally followed by an eye roll or two.  When my 7 year old decided that she just had to have an iPod Touch, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to make her understand that money does not grow on trees.
We sat her down and shared the good news, “You can have that iPod Touch…if you pay for it.”  We brought her to a few stores to shop for her new obsession as well as searched online and told her to write down the prices along with any in store promotions so she had a clear goal in mind.  For the next few months, she saved her birthday money, her Christmas money, and allowance.  Her journey was not one without hiccups.  On several occasions, we went shopping and she found other items she just had to have like clothes, shoes, toys and dolls.  After explaining how much money she would have to remove from her wallet and that it would take away from her ultimate goal, she decide the impulse item wasn’t worth it about 99% of the time.
Much to my surprise, she saved enough money and we allowed her to purchase her very own iPod Touch.  We made her stand in the check out line and physically hand over the cash she had been saving.  Since this day, she has treated her iPod like gold and taken very good care of it because she now understands how much work went into saving the money.
While this was a great experience for her, the learning process is far from over.  I was happy to learn about a website called Virtual Piggy which helps parents teach their children how to spend, save and give online. This service will empower your kids to make their own financial decisions within the budget limits you provide.  To begin, a parent sets up a parent account and enters shipping information and credit card information to be used for future purchases.  An account can now be created for each of your children (giving them each their own username and password) and parental controls can be applied such as approved merchants and transaction limits.  Because payment information is stored in the parental account under PCI-DSS Level 1 security, your information is safe and your child will never have access to it.
The child’s dashboard makes them independently balance their spending and savings goals.  The parent can set monthly allowance amounts, spending or transaction limits and charity goals.  When your child would like to make a purchase after they have saved enough money, they can do so with any retailer that has integrated the Virtual Piggy payment option (more retailers being added each day!).   You also have the option of approving every transaction before it occurs.
Your child has the option to create a Wish List of items they are working toward.  The great thing is that the wish list can also be shared with family and friends so you have a pre-made list of items your child wants for birthdays, holidays and graduations!  Adding items to the wish list is very easy by adding “Piggy Pin” directly to your bookmark toolbar.
By using Virtual Piggy MVP or Member Value Program which is available through January 15, you can find coupons and online offers to share with your child and teach them about searching for the best deal to save money.
I feel like this free service is a great way to start an open dialogue with your children about fiscal responsibility and a way for my daughter to see her hard work pay off!  If you would like to learn more, make sure you follow Virtual Piggy on Twitter and Facebook.
This is a sponsored post from Splash Creative Media on behalf of Virtual Piggy. All opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. Teaching the value of money can be so hard to kids this looks great!

  2. I love that you had your daughter save up her money to buy the iPod touch, what a great lesson – and even better that she is now going to take so much better care of it because she paid for it!

    I’m going to have to check out Virtual Piggy, it sounds really handy!

  3. Love this. I think most college kids I know could have benefited from this before they got swamped with credit card offers. Saving to buy things is better than accruing debt!

  4. I had my 5 year old use his money to replace a game he broke the other day. Counted it out, had him pay. He loved the experience too much. I think he is going to be a shopper, not a saver. LOL.

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