Too busy to give your kids money? ThreeJars is the solution.

(Image courtesy of

(Image courtesy of

You rarely see your kids because you’re too busy working, socializing, etc. to be a parent. So what’s the best way to fill that void?

Why, it’s to create an online account where kids can send you text alerts when they need money, of course!

ThreeJars does have a good idea. You create a family account and electronically track the money your kids “earn.” Then, you decide what percentage should be saved, spent, or shared. Your children then send requests for money they’d like to “withdraw” and you can opt to give it to them.

It teaches kids about smart money use, and it gives parents a way to manage their kids’ money without worry.

But while ThreeJars is a good tool for (too) busy American parents, I am shocked by the implications of such a service.

Since when did kids get financial power? And when did parents get too busy to be parents?

When I was young, I was expected to trust that my parents would give me the things I needed and sometimes reward me with extra spending cash.

And at 22, I turned out to be just fine at handling my money. (And I’d bet that I’m a little less whiny, too, but that may another topic altogether.)

What’s your perspective?

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  1. It’s interesting that you bring this up. I recently heard a story on the radio about a mother who paid her child to do well…in sports! I couldn’t believe it when I heard that this mom shelled out almost $35 to her child because he made several free throws. The system boiled down to: the child earned money for good behavior (ie. making baskets) and lost money for bad behavior (unsportsmanlike conduct). Now I understand things are different then they were in the past, but when I was a kid, the privilege was GETTING TO PLAY the sport. To bring it full circle with your blog, I find it interesting that kids are given money as a reward. Should a child be paid for grades? Or should parents simply encourage children to do well with intrinsic rewards, such as getting into a good college or succeeding in life. Furthermore, should children really be given enough money that it is necessary to track it electronically? Maybe I’m living in the past, but as you said, I think that the concept of $$ is being introduced to children at far to young of an age, and this “jar” system only perpetuates the issue.

    • Yes! I was lucky to PLAY the sport! That’s crazy! Thanks for sharing that story.
      And I also wondered if children should be given enough money to call for electonic tracking of it! If I recall correctly I got like $0.25 for each chore I did each day. Certainly not enough to have to track, obviously.
      On a positive note, I’m glad these parents aren’t giving kids large chunks of money to encourage premature drug use. So many rich kids with too much money usually find themselves doing cocaine.

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