As my boys start to learn more about money, I’m always looking for ways to enhance the learning experience. I want them to understand the importance of saving and giving, and I want them to learn to be smart spenders.
That’s why I was very interested in trying Tykoon. Tykoon is a free website that allows kids to learn about earning, spending, and saving in a safe environment. It was developed for parents and kids by parents and kids, so it’s very user friendly.
As a parent, you can easily set up tasks for your child and attach them to earnings. You decide whether they earn cash, if it’s tied to an allowance, or if you’ll give them a non-cash reward. You can determine whether the task is a one-time job or a recurring one.
In addition, you and your child can set up how much of your child’s earnings will go to saving, spending, and giving. (Like those little piggy banks with the divider, only much more sophisticated!)
There’s a separate kid dashboard that allows your child to create wishlists, shop online using their earnings, and even donate to the charity of his or her choice. As kids learn to navigate Tykoon, they can earn badges, and connect with family and friends to share their goals. Kids can even suggest jobs to their parents and negotiate earnings or special privileges for completed tasks.
Sign up for Tykoon for free on your computer, and download the free Tykoon app to run on you or your child’s iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Tykoon even has a social feature that allows you and your child to safely connect with family and friends. This feature is designed to help your child set goals, solve problems and share their success. Invite 5 friends to sign up for Tykoon and if they stay for at least one month, you’ll get a $25 Amazon gift card!
Tykoon is geared toward kids ages 8 to 12, so my three boys are a little young for it. But I definitely see the advantages of using Tykoon with your kids.
Tykoon is a simple system that has a lot of privacy features in place. As a parent, there are more than 25 parental controls you can use to ensure that your child’s privacy is protected. You can also set up e-mail notifications for just about everything, so you can keep tabs on how your child uses the site. I love that as a parent, you can log into the parent dashboard, and then click to see your child’s dashboard as well.
I also love that there are many opportunities to create teachable moments with your kids. From negotiating payments for tasks, to deciding how much to save, spend and give, this app opens up a dialogue about money between you and your child. You and your child can discuss what causes are important to your family and how to determine the best place to donate funds. Your child can create wishlists and help select items to purchase.
The best part – Tykoon is not tied to a bank account or credit card – so your child can’t spend any money without going through you first.
As a bargain hunter and self-proclaimed cheapskate, I was a little disappointed that the only outlet for shopping online was Amazon.com. While Amazon has great prices most of the time, I think it is important for kids to learn to shop around for the best price before they buy. Hopefully Tykoon will consider adding this feature in the future to create another way for parents and kids to talk about spending money.
If you’re looking to help your child learn more about earning and managing their money, Tykoon is a great place to start. I love that this app encourages a strong work ethic, while helping kids gain confidence in saving, spending and giving money.
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Tykoon. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. This post also contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Please see our full disclosure policy for more information.