You did it. You celebrated the birthdays, packed lunches for soccer tournaments and survived the endless conversation about Minecraft. Congratulations, Moms and Dads — you’ve made it through 2019.
As we look toward 2020, allow us to celebrate the unsung heroes of financial literacy – YOU! The hundreds of thousands of Greenlight parents teaching their kids the value of a dollar and the art of making smart trade-off decisions.
In 2019, Greenlight kids did 1.8 million chores and collectively managed more than $150 million. But that’s not all.
Looking toward 2020
In 2020, we’ve got big plans to improve the Greenlight app and add more features for your kids to learn the full-spectrum of money management.
We’ll be weaving more educational layers into the Greenlight app, making it fun (and painless!) for kids to build smart earning, spending, saving and giving habits.
Our team is also building tools for kids to learn all about the world of investing, with a new suite of features that allow kids to invest in multiple funds and even buy fractional shares from their favorite companies.
Our single most important job is to support you – the parents doing the hard work. Together, let’s make 2020 the Year of Financial Literacy.
*Data captured from Greenlight families based on activity from Dec 2018 to Nov 2019. Average monthly spend calculated only for kids who spent.
Studies have shown that financial health is strongly connected to physical and mental wellness. There’s no better time than now to start routines that set your kids up for financially-healthy and happy futures. Let Greenlight help you set new year resolutions that you’ll actually keep to jumpstart your progress.
Resolution #1: We all need a bit of balance (tracking)
Our goal at Greenlight is to make sure all kids are empowered to make financially-smart decisions. We think empowerment starts with knowledge — working with kids to make sure they understand how much they earn, how much they spend and how they should save.
Tip #1 is all about making sure kids take the time regularly (dare we say it, daily?!) to track their spend history and account balances. This new year resolution will naturally spark conversations around trade-off decisions, teaching your kids responsibility in budget management.
Within the Greenlight app, kids are able to monitor their spending, earning, saving, and giving history. This allows kids (and parents!) to track:
How much to expect in allowance
How much is available to spend
Progress toward their saving goals
“I have two teens (13 & 14). Being able to see their spending and balances digitally via the app has made them much more mindful of how and when they choose to spend their money.”
Antoinette K, Greenlight mom
Resolution #2: Save! Save! Save!
We know it’s hard for kids (especially the young ones!) to understand the difference between wants and needs. Starting kids out with a savings account early can teach them to save for what they want and be prepared to cover what they need because unexpected things happen.
Consider mapping out a monthly plan with your kids to help them articulate, save for and reach their goals.
The most popular saving goal for Greenlight kids in 2019 was a car!
If your kids earn an allowance based on grades or chore completion, write out how much each grade or task is worth. That will help them calculate what they need to do to accomplish their goals.
Parents are also able to help their kids reach their goals by setting aside a portion of allowances into their child’s Greenlight save account, helping reinforce wise saving habits.
Setting up saving goals within the Greenlight app helps kids visualize what they’re saving for and regularly track their progress.
Greenlight kids who create saving goals save 29% more than kids who don’t.
Once a week, consider having a family meeting to talk about how close your kids are to reaching their goal. Reviewing their spend history can help kids rethink a plan for the next week on how to spend less and save more. This regular routine can turn into a long-term habit that magically reduces the number of times you get asked for money.
Resolution #3: Watch savings grow with Parent-Paid Interest
After you get your family into the habit of saving, it’s time to learn about how to make your savings grow. Greenlight helps teach the power of compound interest by offering parents the ability to pay a parent-paid interest rate on top of their child’s savings.
On average, Greenlight families set a parent-paid interest rate of 18%.
Once your kids understand the concept of compound interest, you can set your parent-paid interest rate to a more realistic one and have conversations around what grownup savings accounts typically earn.
Resolution #4: Have you done your chores?
Chore routines can be a great way to show your kids that money has to be earned. A recent poll of Greenlight parents showed that 73% give allowance, and 47% say their kids have to earn it.
Use the beginning of the year to reassess your family’s chore routine. With age may come new responsibilities, changing the chores typically assigned to your kids.
However, if ever, you choose to reward your kids for chores, Greenlight can help with task management. With the Greenlight app, you can set one-time or weekly chores based on the routines you set for your family.
In 2019, Greenlight helped kids finish 1.8 million chores!
If your child does dishes weekly, Greenlight allows parents to assign tasks and regular deadlines. If your child contributes to other household responsibilities by cleaning the gutters once a month, one-time chores may be assigned with an optional monetary reward upon completion.
Whatever your goals, Greenlight is here for you.
Greenlight is here to help your family feel empowered to talk about money and form smart habits with all the tools to raise financially-smart kids. Not a Greenlight member? Sign up today!
We love the holiday season at Greenlight. It’s a time when families have thoughtful conversations about what they’re thankful for. Many talk about the importance of generosity and reflect on our responsibility to give to those less fortunate. Some families offer their time to support noble causes and give back to their communities. Some choose to make donations to nonprofits.
Throughout this Thanksgiving season, we encourage you to share with your kids the gift of giving.
Generosity is part of human nature. And it leads to happier lives.
In another variation of the study, toddlers were given separate trays and the researchers randomly distributed the marbles between them. In situations where a child was given more marbles than their partner, one-third of the time, the lucky toddler with more marbles would give up their extra marbles to their partner to even the score.
Ashley Noto, Greenlight’s SVP of Product and Analytics gave us a look inside how her family gives back during the holidays:“With all the gifts from friends and family during the holiday, I think it’s also a great opportunity to celebrate the joy of giving with my kids,” she said. “At the beginning of the season, we adopt a family in need. We all contribute earned allowances and participate in buying items for the family. As the season comes to a close, my kids give back — either a toy or a portion of gift money they received — to a charity of their choice.”
There are many different ways kids can share their generosity and give their time, effort or money!
Time: Choose an organization to volunteer with as a family. Volunteermatch.org is a great place to identify opportunities to donate your time. You can even search by different causes.
Unwanted items: Involve your kids by encouraging them to clean their closets and donate old clothes to local organizations.
Toy or food drives: Many schools and local businesses run toy and food drives around Thanksgiving to give to those less fortunate.
Money: Donating money helps enforce lessons in budgeting with kids while instilling the importance of generosity.
Set monetary donation goals.
In anticipation for the holiday season, work with your kids to set individual or family donation goals. As your kids are gifted money for the holidays, work with kids to put funds back for an end-of-year donation.
Allocate a percentage of allowance payouts into your kids Give accounts which can only be used with charitable organizations.
Create a Greenlight Savings Goal to help kids track progress toward a larger donation. Did you know that kids who set saving goals save 29.5% more than kids who don’t? Have your kids research their favorite charitable organizations — ones they identify with the most. If you need someplace to start, these are the 3 most popular organizations for Greenlight kids.
It’s always important to remember the power of the collective. Even the smallest donation is part of a much larger community of givers.
It’s also important to reward your child’s generosity. Praise them for contributing to causes larger than themselves and weave giving back into regular conversations. You’ll notice how naturally these conversations emerge – whether it’s an ill classmate in need or a school-sponsored food drive.
At Greenlight, we are proud to celebrate generosity. In December, we have some special things planned to encourage the giving nature of Greenlight kids and reward them for their efforts. Stay tuned!