Boston Public Library
Kirstein Business Library

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A virtual piggy bank for your kids

by Amber De Angelis

There are plenty of products out there that can help with reaching your goals. But what about for kids and teens?

Introducing Oink.

Oink aims to teach kids and teens how to spend wisely and save money all within a safe environment. Founded in 2008 as Virtual Piggy, the company recently re-branded itself as Oink and rolled a new suite of products to expand services and attract teens along with their parents.

Oink’s COPPA compliant technology allows kids and teens to safely shop online from partner retailers, while keeping parents in the loop. As more and more teens start shopping online (and using their mobile phones) this tool could a great starting point for parents and teens to talk seriously about finance and money management. The product even allows for teens to donate to charities.

Partial screenshot of the parent dashboard from Oink

Parents have a dashboard where they can manage the allowance they give to each of their children. They can sign into their account on a computer or use the brand new app. Parents can approve or reject purchases, and can see what their kids are spending the most money on. Moreover, parents have the ability to suspend a child’s Oink privileges. If Junior isn’t making the grade, his parents can suspend his account until he improves. Or reward him if he did really well.

Kids and teens have their own dashboards where they can keep track of what they spent and saved. They can even make wishlists and save up for larger purchases too. Kids and teens can purchase directly from retailers by selecting the Oink checkout payment option and signing in with their account.  It’s very similar to PayPal.

What’s really cool about the product, is that it provides money managing tips to kids and gives tips to  parents on how to talk about it.  Oink also has exclusive deals with many retailers, which is another way parents and their kids can save money.

Just a heads up: January is Financial Fitness month. Look out for January’s  Tech Class schedule for workshops on financial fitness.

Cheers!

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