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Welcome to My World, Junior

Monday August 19,  2013

Welcome to My World

It’s finally here! An L.A. company has introduced PayPal for the braces set.

Virtual Piggy, Inc. has announced that it will provide what it calls a “youth-friendly” payment system to video game maker MarvelousAQL.

Piggy says it promotes financial literacy for kids by empowering them to buy, save and manage their money. It calls the Virtual Piggy a “family wallet.” Presumably this means mom or dad pays the money into the wallet and Junior spends the money out of the wallet.

Anyone who’s ever had a teenager at home knows the pleasure of opening a bill and finding unknown PayPal, iTunes, or pay-per-view charges that have mysteriously appeared—without  the under-18 set in the house having the slightest clue as to how they got there.

Call me old fashioned, but I think the way to promote financial literacyin kids is to boot their butts off the couch when they’re 16 and make them get a job if they want to buy music, video games or movies. Junior will learn a lot faster about managing money when it’s his hard-earned cash, than when it’s yours and Mr. Piggy is managing it for him.

There are any number of debit card programs that will let him learn how electronic payments work while letting you monitor what goes in and out of the account.

The next time Junior wants the hottest music or newest video game, and tries to dip into the family wallet—meaning yours—tell him to get outside and cut the grass or wash the windows and you’ll pay him. That’s how to teach real financial literacy.

Welcome to my world, Junior.