Within 5 minutes, I had both of my kids set up with transaction ledgers that included an allowance, savings APR, Save/Spend ratios and the ability to trigger custom *bonuses* for household chores over and above their allowances. The app includes the ability to email account statements and uses the ATM as a metaphor for account transactions – in todays plastic transaction economy, very smart move. Not just content to reside on your iDevice, the app includes the ability to email a “fridge sheet” for monitoring savings/spending, money earned from specific chores as well as additional deposit/withdrawl ledgers. While we like to pretend we are connected all of the time, a paper ledger is a valuable companion to the app.
As for the kids, my 4 year old daughter watched me set it up, said “cool,” and ran off to watch The Backyardigans. Not an unexpected reaction. My 6 year old son on the other hand, instantly saw this as a means to end – that being saving up money to buy more baseball & MMA cards.
The “fridge sheet” instantly found a place on our closet door – not that we keep cold things in our closet, just a side effect of a stainless steel fridge – and there was an immediate attention shift towards doing chores to earn extra money. I dig that.
For what it is, and how it is positioned, it is clearly a 5 star app for reaching the goals it set out to reach and doing so in an iOS design interface manner.
In a real world scale, I give it a solid 4 stars. My son instantly brought up one feature that I think would make this a killer app. . .goal projections. The first question out of his mouth was “How long do I need to save my money to get a new Iron Man toy?” That was a very valid point to me and one I hadn’t considered when I set out to review it. A second point of improvement: being able to set decimal points on the APR settings. Both of my kids have savings accounts at ING Direct, which conveniently sits at a 1% APY (pathetic, I know), but three months ago it was a 1.1% APY. KidsBank only allows integer percentage points, so some reconcilliation may be needed down the road when you monitor accounts. The last thing, and maybe I missed it, but the ability to delete a transaction. I can void them, but they still show in the ledger as voided, a delete function would be appreciated.