We are starting to teach Charlie and Eve about responsible spending and charitable giving, which have probably been complex concepts for parents to instill in their children through the ages. But as virtually all of the bill paying, shopping and philanthropic donations in our house are now done online, the topics are even tougher to convey.
The children see the UPS man bringing the items we select, they see us pass up the collection plate at church thanks to an online “virtual envelope” program, and we use credit cards for all transactions in order to track our family budget online.
The only time the kids see me with cash in hand is when paying a bridge toll or haircut time at our cash-only favorite barbershop.
So it makes sense that as I work to instill good values of spending and sharing with my children, I teach them in a modern fashion that reflects our digital age. I’m going to try introducing them to Virtual Piggy, a site I just learned about from my blogging colleagues at Splash Creative Media. Virtual Piggy assists parents by providing a parent-monitored online account from which kids can shop using “their own money.”
Parents register accounts for their children, providing spending limits and controlling all personal information. Parents can control the merchants the child is able to select through many layers of parental controls. Then the child can independently shop using “his own money.” Kid-friendly merchants such as KNEX, NFL.com, Barnes & Noble, even Regal Cinemas have signed on as Virtual Piggy partners, and charitable orgs such as the ASPCA are also joining.
The parent’s credit card is stored using the highest security level available and the child does not have access to it. As far as child safety, Virtual Piggy has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission as an authorized safe site under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.
The Virtual Piggy program sounds like a great learning tool, as well as a fun experience for my kids to spend any Christmas or birthday cash they receive. I think it will give my kids some real-world experience that is slightly more practical than hitting the aisle of a store with a ten spot in hand.
Currently Virtual Piggy is offering some great exclusive discounts and members-only holiday promo codes through its Member Value Program (MVP) to new families who sign up. Check out the offers and when you sign on, you will receive the promo codes. MVP offers end 1/15/13.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Splash Creative Media on behalf of Virtual Piggy. All opinions are my own.