So, as it does from time to time, the topic of the future came up the other day. In this instance, it had to do with Monki and the idea of an allowance.
It seems that, coming as we are, from different cultures and different generations, we also have a different approach to things like allowances and teaching fiscal responsibility to the little one.
Since it’s still a bit of a ways off, it’s a discussion we will continue to have for a while, debating pros and cons, floating hypothetical situations and ultimately seeing what she needs when she needs it. But then I came across this app. BusyKid is a “revolutionary system for chores and allowance for the modern family. Teach your kids financial literacy and responsibility.”
I’m fascinated by this. I’m also fascinated by the “give-spend-save” triumvirate which teaches a certain amount of social responsibility along with financial realities. And then you add in the idea of partial stock ownership (BusyKid as well as Stockpile both offer this option) and I just don’t know what to make of it. On one hand, I love it. I love that modern technology takes the guess-work out of things and literally puts your child to work. There’s a “payday” with “direct deposit” into their account (if they want cash, it goes back into the parent’s account to be disbursed, but gift cards and stock purchases happen directly on their actions – with only slight parental oversight for stocks). And how fun would it be to follow along in the market, to pick stocks for the companies you like and products you support and show the real world consequences of that support? Or what kind of lessons could be learned by finding a charity you feel strongly about and giving part of your hard earned money to help out those less fortunate than you? Even just having your own pocket money to buy things you want when you want them is a wonderful kind of freedom in itself (I remember having a discussion, not that long ago, with a friend who noted “I knew I was successful when I didn’t worry about ordering the guacamole”).
On the other hand, is it a case of “growing up too fast”? Are we pushing kids into adult situations to soon? Are these financial matters things they really need to be worrying about just yet? Either way, I suppose I’ll find out soon enough. But until then, anyone have any thoughts on the matter?