PiggyBot

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
PiggyBot App Poster Image
Simple allowance tool lets kids track spending, saving.

Parents say

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Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational value

Kids can learn to manage money and make wise financial choices, hands on. They can set spending goals and see on a pie chart how close they are to their goals. With today's technology, dealing with money digitally and understanding that, even when they can't see the money they're spending, it is real, is important for kids. Many adults rarely deal with cash, having paychecks direct-deposited and paying with debit and credit cards online or in a store. PiggyBot helps parents teach kids about smart spending, saving, and sharing to develop responsible financial habits.

Ease of play

The bulk of the work is handled by parents setting up each child's account with a name, passcode, and allowance amount. Parents can get push reminders to pay the allowances at a certain time. Kids log on separately to claim their allowances.

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

The point is teaching kids financial-management basics, and part of that is setting goals for what they'd like to buy. The app does not link directly to Amazon or a search engine to offer ideas, though. Kids enter their goals themselves and the targeted dollar amounts.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that PiggyBot is a virtual piggy bank for parents to manage kids' allowances. No money is actually exchanged; the app serves as a digital IOU for kids and parents to track how much kids have earned. Parents can receive push notifications as reminders to "pay" the allowances, and then kids log in to claim them. When they're ready to cash out, they just let their parents know, and the adults can make one trip to the ATM. All activity has to take place on one device, though, as there's no way to link the accounts on multiple devices.

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What's it about?

Parents set up accounts for each kid, entering each kid's name and assigning him or her a PIN, and designating a weekly amount to spend, share, and save. When kids log on, they enter the PIN and can add a picture to their profile and set spending, sharing, and saving goals. To pay an allowance, parents log on and pay. They also can pay other amounts (say, for extra chores or a gift) and deduct money. When kids log on after receiving an allowance, they'll see what they've earned and how close they are to their goals.

Is it any good?

PIGGYBOT is functional, and it's certainly handy for parents who don't always have the exact cash on hand to pay weekly allowances. It's easy to set up and use and includes features to add other cash for non-allowance reasons and to deduct money as necessary. The conversations it can open up for families about money management, including sharing and saving, is priceless. It's only lacking a log-in function to allow kids to access their allowances from a different device. Privacy is the concern there, making this an issue of convenience versus privacy -- and since no real financial information is involved, this is a case where convenience should win. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Set goals and expectations together for how the allowance is earned and how much to share and save versus what to spend.

  • Use PiggyBot to track money received for birthdays and chores. Parents can take the money and track the amounts so nothing is lost. Then they can cash it out when kids are ready to spend it.

App details

For kids who love learning about money

Our editors recommend

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