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App turns chores to cash, rewarding Raleigh teens

When many kids get their hands on cash, it can quickly disappear. A phone app helped a Raleigh mom teach her two teens how to be money-wise. "I was struggling with trying to find a way to successfully do allowance for the kids," said Anna Baird Choi.

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By
Rick Armstrong
, WRAL photojournalist

When many kids get their hands on cash, it can quickly disappear.

A phone app helped a Raleigh mom teach her two teens how to be money-wise. "I was struggling with trying to find a way to successfully do allowance for the kids," said Anna Baird Choi.

A friend recommended "BusyKid," an app with a spending card that a parent can connect to a bank account. It begins with household chores.

Caswell Choi, 16, earns his pay "vacuuming upstairs, downstairs, cleaning the household countertops and mirrors" and cleaning out the family chicken coop. He and 13-year-old sister Jane are paid weekly, directly to their account. "It has really just taught me how I can manage my money and switch between saving and spending," said Jane Choi.

Caswell recently added a new budget item. "I have been driving for some time now, so now that that’s become part of my life, you know, keeping up with gas expenses."

Money can be spent, saved, invested or even donated to a charity. "And all of a sudden, you’re setting them up for success in the long run when it comes to their money," said certified financial planner and app creator Gregg Murset.

His company recognized the Choi kids as two of the country’s "Best of the Best" users of the BusyKid app. They each received $100 deposited into their account.

"It truly came out of the blue," said the teens’ mom, when she heard of the news. "Yes, I was very surprised," added daughter Jane.

"We’ve enjoyed it, and it was just a nice windfall to be recognized as Best of the Best," said their mom.

Caswell sums up his experience, "When you’re able to manage your own money and see how much you spend, how much you save, it kind of broadens your horizons."

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