Chores app keeps kids busy while stuck at home during quarantine

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- When the inventor of the BusyKid app named it, he no doubt knew that name would get the attention of parents.

But that was before the pandemic when keeping kids busy really became a 'thing'.

It's based on a concept that's likely been around since the beginning of civilization - your kids do chores to earn an allowance.

But for kids of today, like 10-year-old Xander of Raleigh, there's now an app for that.

"He can see the chores, he can mark them off as done, and then I have the ability as a parent to say, 'No, you really didn't clean your room to my satisfaction," Xander's mom Rebecca Randazzo told ABC11.

To avoid fees the app allows parents to connect their child's account directly to their bank account and they use their own app to keep track. But Randazzo says BusyKid is so much more than just an allowance app.

"It has real-life financial implications," she said adding, "To me, it goes a step beyond just getting them money on a card. It's tracking that money, it's saving, it's spending, it's responsibility. And to get all of that from a free app is amazing to me."

Randazzo says Xander is becoming financially literate by using the app.

And after school was canceled because of COVID-19 and Randazzo also took on the role of teacher, she found BusyKid is also helping with school work.

She adds extra educational assignments as chores.

"With the pandemic and him learning at home and trying to keep him on task and schedule and still moving forward in his learning, we have utilized some of the chores on the app for him to continue his learning," she said.

And even though BusyKid is schooling him, Xander still loves it.

"It's just amazing. I'm able to log in my chores, spend it, save," he exclaimed.

Xander's parents have also opted to buy him the debit card BusyKid offers for $7.99 a year so he can track his purchases. But their favorite part of the app is that it also allows their son to donate to charity and invest in the stock market.

Rebecca Randazzo said, "And he can invest in companies he feels connected to. I think he purchased Disney and Apple..."

She was interrupted by Xander as she ticked off her list. He wanted to make sure she mentioned one of his favorite gaming companies.

"Nintendo," he blurted out as his mom acknowledged with a smile and echoed, "...Nintendo."

She says BusyKid partners with Stockpile to offer partial shares of stock for just $10 and the kids don't have to pay transaction fees or commissions.

"So in his stock portfolio, there's like $200 or something like that in his total portfolio. But when you consider he's invested $10 at a time over time, he can still see that stock portfolio growing. And he makes the decision as to what he wants to buy and sell," Randazzo said.

She notes that the app also makes it simple for a child to understand business concepts like margin-of-profit versus volume-selling.

Xander learns that lesson when his mom pays significantly less for easy chores which can sometimes generate more money if he does a lot of them.
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