I was given the opportunity to try out Virtual Piggy, a virtual piggy bank for kids. It was created to give kids a safe way to spend, save, and give online and best of all it’s free. I love it. In today’s society, cash tends to be a lesser used method of payment. With online ordering, ATM withdrawals, and debit/credit card transactions, it can be hard for kids to grasp our everyday use of money and the fact that you still have to work to get that money in order to USE it. It isn’t just a magic money machine or click of a magical button. My older kids are starting to get that concept but Virtual Piggy makes it even more real to them.
As a parent you sign up, then can sign your kids up for individual accounts under your name. You set up each child’s account and they can add items they want to buy with money they have saved (or will save) to a wishlist. You can set each account up to add up their allowance, where you are then able to leave it in “savings” or transfer it to a “spending balance”. Through all this the money doesn’t actually get taken from your account or credit card. It gets “virtually” saved until they make a purchase. You can set each account up with a credit card or paypal.
You as a parent set the limits of what they can spend and vendors they can spend through. If your child tries to spend the money you get an email asking for your approval – I love this! This is especially good for older kids/pre-teens who may think they can just go and spend it. Another nice feature is that it doesn’t allow them to spend over the amount you have pre-approved for them. As a newly started company, Virtual Piggy already has over 80 companies they are working with and they continue to expand. When you or your child shops, you simply go to one of their affiliated companies and click “Virtual Piggy” at checkout in order to use the Virtual Piggy Account. Even better, they have special offers you can access through your account that will save you money, whether you use your Virtual Piggy or another method of payment.
Throughout the sign up and trying it out process I had a few problems, generally user related issues. Virtual Piggy’s customer service was quick and courteous, offering direct answers without a million questions “to determine what I was asking”. Don’t you hate when customer service has no idea how to answer your question without first asking you to repeat that or explain it differently one million times? Not Virtual Piggy. They answered concisely and with all the direction I needed to fix the problem immediately. That was the only thing left that needed to sell me completely on Virtual Piggy.
I can say that I feel 100% confident in the security Virtual Piggy offers my kids and I while we as parents teach them how to save and spend wisely, and yes, even GIVE to others. Best of all, with the new jobs/allowance/wishlist combination, they have a clearer picture of working for the money, that they then save with a goal in mind – that toy or other item they have been wanting.Maybe soon I can sit and eat bon-bons while they run the house (I kid, I kid!!!) but they DID send me some really cool “Virtual Piggy M&Ms”.
Here are some great videos that walk you through signing up and give you an idea of what the program is like.