Donna and Kevin have been proud of their 11-year-old daughter, Shae, for many reasons. Shae is conscientious, self-motivated, well spoken, responsible, and creative. When she was introduced to the BusyKid app to earn and manage her own money in October 2019, Shae became very budget conscious as well. But Donna could not have foreseen what took place after Shae learned how to use the app.
Donna is an avid runner and always listening to music. Her birthday arrived along with a big surprise – Apple AirPods purchased solely by Shae.
“I was completely floored. I knew she was doing well but I had no idea she was doing that well! I was so surprised…it wasn’t anything I needed; it was just a want. I definitely shed a tear,” Donna reminisced.
Shae was filled with a sense of accomplishment. She had an active part every step of the way. It was up to Shae to select what chores she would perform, when she wanted to schedule the tasks, and what her spending card balance goals were.
The rewards come down to so much more than spending money. Shae invests in her favorite companies (yes, she owns shares in Berkshire Hathaway because they own Dairy Queen). She also has a philanthropic heart and makes donating to charity an automatic task when payday arrives. A variety of nonprofits benefit from Shae’s generosity through the BusyKid app, from suicide awareness initiatives to hurricane relief. Shae’s favorite charity to support is 4 Paws for Ability “because what dogs can do to help humans is awesome.”
The biggest reward to date though was showing her love for her mother. “It was really meaningful to do this for her. She’s done so much for me. I can still see her smile from when she opened her gift.”
Naturally there are lots of different opinions on how children should handle their money. But ultimately, the funds in their accounts are at their discretion. A great role for parents to assume is giving guidance on money choices and leading by example. There is no one-size-fits-all financial plan for families. It may not be practical to expect a child to choose to buy their family members presents on special occasions.
It only makes the gesture sweeter when a child using their BusyKid card makes the choice to shop for others with the money they’ve worked hard for. Kids aren’t commonly known for being disciplined spenders! As the holiday season approaches, it is good to remember that children are going to be attracted to shiny objects and sales gimmicks when choosing their family gifts. While these gifts can certainly bring joy, help ensure the holiday shopping experience is a practical one by discussing frivolous spending and encouraging appropriate spending caps.
Shae is given a lot of freedom by her parents because they know her habits, maturity level, and the financial intelligence she has displayed through the last couple years managing her BusyKid account. Shae gets to shine in several areas of interest. Just like her mom, she’s always listening to music and has created a ShaeBops playlist on Spotify. She has also shown a penchant for interior design and has overseen creation of her playroom, the ShaeShed.
This season has a lot in store for super Whiz Kid Shae. She has continued saving for her own purchases (Shae recently got a MacBook and contributed 50% of the cost) and has goals to celebrate the season by purchasing gifts for her group of friends. Shae remembers the sense of pride and the smile on her mom’s face when she gave her the AirPods. She’s excited to let her friends know just how much they mean to her by giving them carefully planned presents this year.