Giving children an allowance always seems like a good idea at first. But just try following through in practice.
You need to remember to get exact change each week, which may not be easy if you bank online and need a pile of singles. You have to remember to hand over the money to the child on the designated day. You need someplace to put the money — but alas, most piggy banks are terrible, with tiny compartments you can’t see into to get any sense of how the money is piling up.
Using a few separate jars is a fine idea, but if children can get into them, they might reallocate money from the Saving jar to the Spending jar. Or take money to school without telling you and try to buy their way to the front of the lunch line. Or let their friends take some money home from a playdate.
All of this hassle has given rise over the years to Web sites that track chores, allowance, savings and spending. FamZoo, ThreeJars, Count My Beanz, and My Job Chart are a few of the sites that aim to help children and their parents.
One of the newest to enter the fray is Tykoon, whose two founders are themselves fathers with executive-level experience at companies like LendingTree and Bank of America. And while it’s early days for the service, they seem to have their priorities in order in understanding that their efforts will succeed only if the product inspires the right kind of questions with the right kind of frequency.
“This is not a pill, or three weeks at a gym or a 10-DVD set,” said Mark Bruinooge, the co-founder and a veteran of Bank of America’s digital operations. “It’s a multiyear conversation about how your family uses money. We want it to be part of the family routine.”