Teaching Your Child About Spending with #virtualpiggy

I held the Disney art kit in my hands as my daughter rummaged in her purse. I was shopping at The Disney Store with my then 7-year-old daughter. She was so excited to spend her own money. For the first time in her life, she had saved money. She had saved for weeks…a nickel here, a quarter there, and even a few dollar bills. And she was adamant that she wanted to spend ALL of her money on the Disney art kit.

I looked away for a minute to glance at the other art kits. I heard a clanking sound. Turned around quickly to see that my daughter had emptied the contents of her purse on to the floor of the store. Quarters rolled, pennies clattered, dimes scattered. She wanted to count all her money to be sure she had enough, she said. Quickly I helped her gather up her various and sundry coins and she made her purchase.

Back then I only had one “kid spender” in the family. Now I have three children who like to make purchases with their own money. All three earn money from chores and the Tooth Fairy and grandparents. But, here’s the thing…I rarely carry cash. So when we are at the store and one of my children asks to buy something I often come up empty handed. I don’t stop at ATMs often. Frequently, I have only enough cash to give the kids lunch money on a day when I don’t have time to pack lunches.

Going to the store? We prefer to shop in our pajamas!

My lack of cash coupled with the fact that my children love shopping means I have a problem. Either I have a kid asking for cash to buy an item or I have a kid who wants to buy an item online with my credit card. Enter VirtualPiggy. Recently, I learned about this banking site for parents and children. VirtualPiggy helps parents teach their children about money management through fostering responsible spending and shopping habits. Parents set up a “bank account,” which their child accesses through VirtualPiggy. Parents have full control of their child’s account on VirtualPiggy.

Here’s how VirtualPiggy works for:

Parent Account on VirtualPiggy.com

  • Parents open a family account on VirtualPiggy.
  • Parents set up subaccounts for each child.
  • Parents decide how much money to “give” each child. VirtualPiggy will also suggest what amount of money to give each child.
  • Parents put money in each child’s account for getting good grades, doing chores, or money from grandparents, etc.
  • Parents log in at any time to monitor their child’s spending, add money to the account, check notifications, etc.
  • This YouTube video from VirtualPiggy explains the parent dashboard. View it here.

Child Account on VirtualPiggy

  • Children can access their own account on VirtualPiggy.
  • Children can see how much money they have.
  • Children can decide to save some of their money.
  • Children can transfer money to savings.
  • Children can use their money to shop at the merchants approved by VirtualPiggy and on the approve Merchant List.
  • Children can add items to their virtual shopping cart at one of the stores listed.
  • Children then “check out” via VirtualPiggy.
  • This YouTube video from VirtualPiggy explains the child dashboard. View it here.

What I liked about VirtualPiggy was that the registration process was straightforward. Since it is a financial account, there were safeguards when setting up payment options. You could decide to set up payments via credit card or PayPal. Setting up accounts for each of my children was easy. I can log in to VirtualPiggy using my email or through the PayPal Access button, while my child can log in using his user name which is his first name. We all use the same password to sign in to VirtualPiggy.

One feature that will be sure to be of use at holiday and birthday times is the VirtualPiggy wishlist. You can create a wishlist for each child or your child can create her own list.  Also, you can find the following shopping sites on VirtualPiggy’s merchant list:

  • K’Nex
  • O’Neill
  • Ty Beanie Babies
  • MusicSkins
  • Playdin
  • And more.

You can set an allowance per child using the amount you want or by using the recommend allowance values from VirtualPiggy. Also, since you can switch your child’s account on and off if your child’s grades are not good or chores are not getting done. You have control over your child’s money and spending habits through VirtualPiggy.

Don’t forget to:

I received a gift code to use for purposes of this review from Splash Creative Media and Virtual Piggy. All opinions are my own. I follow the tenets of Blog With Integrity.

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