Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Virtual Piggy Teaches Kids Financial Literacy Thru Online Wallet Service Parents Control


This is a sponsored post
TIME Magazine reports that American kids get $780 per year in allowance on average and almost none of it is saved. A 2012 digest of figures compiled by StatisticBrain.com points out that 25.6 million U.S. teens spent $208.7 billion in a single year.  Other studies indicate that 24% of 6-10 year-olds shop online alone (PlayScience Survey) and 73% of teens do at least half their shopping via the Internet (Teenage Shopping Habits).

Kids and money, they're quite a pair, MommyBlogExpert.com
These economic implications are obviously huge and are an impetus for modern parents to take an active role in teaching smart money management habits to kids early in life. In fact, JWT Intelligence says that 88% of parents already believe that knowing how to handle and spend money properly is the second most important factor to a child's eventual success as an adult.

My 4 tweens, vintage photo, MommyBlogExpert.com
So, wouldn't it be great if there was a no-cost private kid-friendly online bank account, debit card, or similar type of virtual wallet service that you could set up at home for a child? One that's low maintenance for you, but suitable for a son or daughter who is old enough to understand the basics of selecting and buying something they want? A resource that gives young people the freedom to shop online within the limits you've designated while at the same time educating him or her about how to save, budget and spend cash? 

Well, there's good news. There already is such a secure and family-friendly financial management tool that promotes handling money responsibly. It's called Virtual Piggy.

My son built this K'nex Virtual Piggy, MommyBlogExpert.com
I had the chance to get acquainted with and learn more about this innovative company and the valuable services they provide while in Chicago this summer immediately following the BlogHer conference.

Candy Bar, Virtual Piggy style, MommyBlogExpert.com
Sweets in the company's official color, MommyBlogExpert.com
Come to think of it, one of my favorite private events during the whole trip was the lovely and informative Virtual Piggy Sunday brunch that I enjoyed with the brand and a select group of other invited top mom bloggers who cover technology. The party location was none other than The Signature high above the streets of the Windy City. Aren't these skyscraper views above from the top of the John Hancock Building event venue stunning?

Delicious food at the brunch, MommyBlogExpert.com
Giant Virtual Piggy in Chicago made of K'nex, MommyBlogExpert.com
Beautiful table centerpieces, MommyBlogExpert.com
Completely free to use, accessible via a desktop computer or smart mobile device, and void of any sort of fees, Virtual Piggy functions as an online family wallet that empowers kids and teens to be savvy about managing personal funds. At the same time, it still gives parents the ability to stay in control, to monitor activity and set limits on how much kids can spend and where they shop. Importantly, the service is certified by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) which specifically protects privacy of kids using the Internet who are under 13. 

Virtual Piggy helps nurture and develop youth financial literacy through an easy-to-use dashboard. Once a parent sets up an account, a child has safe direct access to budget, save and spend their allowance and any other money that is deposited into their online account. This isn't just another garden variety tech company with the next best idea, either. This is the real deal. Recently, Virtual Piggy received some very prestigious consumer industry recognition: the 2013 Dr. Toy's Top 10 Best Technology Award as well as being among those chosen for this year's Dr. Toy's Top 100 Children's Products list.

Watch this video to see real-life mom and actress Sela Ward, known for her role as Teddy Reed on the TV series Sisters, explain some of Virtual Piggy's benefits...

Setting up a Virtual Piggy account for your child is easy and fast. All you have to do is follow the prompts at VirtualPiggy.com to sign up, adding the payment source information and a mailing address.  Next, enter a profile for each child and set a monthly allowance and spending controls such as which stores they may shop at. 

That's it -- the account is now ready for your youngster to use to buy at approved stores all by himself by using just their username and password. As the parent, you still get final approval on all purchases as well as have a way to unobtrusively track their spending, requests and Wishlist.

Your child can shop now at any store you've approved, among more than 80 online retailers kids love. Places like Claire's, K'Nex, Aeropostale, Barnes & Noble, Sephora, Walmart, Gap, Toys 'R Us, Fandango and many others already accept Virtual Piggy payments -- with more coming soon. Girls and boys also have the ability to make charitable donations to more than 250 non-profits, too.
About Virtual Piggy
Based in Hermosa Beach, California, VirtualPiggy.com was created to provide a platform where kids and teens up until the age of 18, under the watchful eyes of their parents, can shop safely online. The company promotes a culture of teaching young people to spend wisely and save for the future. In addition to offering the free virtual wallet service, the company provides many more free money management resources, helpful links and tips for parents and fun quizzes for kids on their website. Follow Virtual Piggy and Twitter and Facebook to stay up on the latest news.

FTC Disclosure: I received compensation and other goodies to facilitate this post. In addition, I was a guest of Virtual Piggy at their hosted brunch in Chicago and received a goody bag. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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