Read about the app that helps kids earn money while keeping parents sane

Posted at 8:43 AM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 09:53:50-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Using technology to get kids off the couch while stuck at home is an idea now guiding Crystal Jones and her husband Marcel.

The Spotsylvania parents say the idea has been a lifesaver.

They credit the BusyKid app with helping their children stay on task.

The Jones have now hired their children Jelani, Elijah, and Marcel through BusyKid to complete household chores.

“Cutting the grass and they get extra for organizing the pantry. For me, that’s a big thing. If you can do the pantry and clean my refrigerator, I will pay you for that!" Crystal said. "If you wipe it out good, I will put a little bonus in there for that."

BusyKid Founder & CEO Gregg Murcet, a father of six and financial planner of 20 years, said it’s all about taking a balanced financial approach, giving kids a solid financial foundation in saving, sharing and spending.

“If you get that into your kid early on, it sticks,” Murcet explained.

Once parents load the free app, they will set the chores and BusyKid tracks completed tasks. Allowance is then direct deposited each Friday.

It also devises a plan - with parents - to decide what percentage their children save and invest, what they share and how much they spend. Each week a percentage is automatically saved.

Kids learn the importance of giving back by donating a percentage of their allowance to charity. The app also allows kids to turn their allowance into real stock.

“On Thursdays we are going to send you a message that says tomorrow it’s payday. Do you want to approve the payday? Just like a boss would approve payroll," Murcet explained. "Once you do that, we’ll pull the money from your bank account into our system and we divide it up into three buckets. Save, share, spend."

Learning to be responsible with money is the goal for her children, Jones said. Her family is also taking advantage of the BusyKid Visa prepaid spend card through the app. Once her kids are paid, their allowance is loaded onto the card.

Murcet said with his own children, investing their allowance in real stock is a big deal. He believes when children are interested in something, it becomes more real to them.

“So when they can buy stock in something they know about, they are interested. My son he has stock in Disney and Visa. He literally tracks how the stocks are doing daily," he said.

Crystal said she was not sure how her husband found out about the app, but she had a chance to tell Murcet just how much her family loves it, and the changes she sees in her children’s attitude about money.

“Now they get the concept that you work, you earn and that’s how you get money on the card to get the things that you want," Crystal said. "You work towards it, you save it and that’s how you are able to purchase some of these things. I see my kids being more thoughtful about their purchases. When they want something now, they think twice about if it’s really a need, or a want. Now I see the trend of them choosing to save.”

To mom, it’s a win-win.

“They’re interested in how to make their money grow. My daughter already wants to start a retirement fund. In this climate when we are all stuck at home, it’s a perfect time to learn more about that,” Jones said. She believes as families deal with financial issues, this is a good time to talk to children about the value of money and how to create a firm financial foundation.

The BusyKid app is free and the only fee associated with it is if parents decide to spend $7.99 to get their child the VISA prepaid spending card.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.