About BusyKid

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff Published on: Oct 23, 2017

BusyKid is a financial tool designed to help kids earn money for chores, save it and spend it based on a simple transfer system overseen by parents.

The tool was founded by Gregg Murset, a Phoenix-based certified financial planner who talked with us about the origins of BusyKid.

Murset said he got the idea for BusyKid based on his experiences in his financial planning practice. He said he noticed that most of the financially successful people he advised had two specific qualities.

“I determined my successful clients were successful because they had two characteristics hard-wired into them: work ethic and they were smart with their money,” Murset. “I really kind of determined I need to get those two major characteristics into my kids’ lives.”

That’s the philosophy behind BusyKid, he said: building work ethic and financial intelligence. His program, Murset said, allows kids to do that through its simple features.

Exactly how BusyKid does that and which functions make it possible is important to understand before you decide to use it.

We went to the BusyKid website and started an account to get an idea of how it works.

In the next few minutes we have together, we’re going to review the program’s sign-up process, its features, what people are saying about it and what we think the pros and cons are of using BusyKid.

How to Sign-Up for BusyKid

The BusyKid sign-up process is pretty simple. To start your account, you’ll have to head to BusyKid.com, where you provide your name, email address, password and zip code to start an account.

Then you’ll be asked to provide a four-digit PIN and your phone number for future communication (more on that later). BusyKid will text you a security code at the phone number you provided.

At that point, you get to add the child or children you want on your account. The next step is to add their phone number (if they have one). BusyKid will then ask you to create a PIN for your child. As you can see, the site emphasizes security for yourself and your child.

From there, you’re starting to set up the chores your child can do to earn money. You can create your own or pick from the suggestions BusyKid gives (we’ll talk about that more in the next section).

BusyKid’s Features

Once you get to the point where you’re setting up chores through BusyKid, you get a really good idea of what it offers and how it works.

Setting Up Chores

Chores are the core of what BusyKid is about because they’re the way your kids will earn money. When you set up your account and when you add children in the future, you get to choose the various chores your kids can do to earn money.

BusyKid gives you suggestions, as we mentioned, but what’s cool about the suggestions is that they’re based on your child’s age.

For example, I added my two-year-old toddler to my account and the site suggested the following chores:

  • Pick up toys
  • Get dressed
  • Put away toys
  • Put dirty clothes in hamper
  • Put shoes away
  • Put clean clothes away

Setting up a chore is pretty simple. You choose the chore, the amount you’ll pay for the chore completed and the frequency of the chore. Here’s a screenshot of how you set up a chore:

A screenshot of BusyKid

How to Pay for Chores

Once your child has finished hers or his chores, they can mark the chore completed. Then, on Thursday, BusyKid sends the parent or guardian a text message telling you how much your child has earned.

To put the transfer through, you reply with a “Yes.”

From there, Murset says, you can put your child’s money into one of three accounts within BusyKid: saving, sharing or spending.

To pay for your kid’s chores, you can choose to make transfers directly from your bank account. This method, known as ACH transfer, is free. You can also choose to use a credit card to make the payments but you’ll be charged 2.9% and $0.30 fees.

These fees cover the cost of what credit card companies charge BusyKid to process credit card transactions.

Pro tip: You also have the option of giving your child a bonus payment, an option that’s available on your BusyKid home page.

How Your Child’s Deposits Are Distributed

When you send money to your child’s account, BusyKid will distribute the money into the Spend, Save and Share categories based on pre-determined percentages.

The default setting for money distribution is:

  • Save: 40%
  • Share: 10%
  • Spend: 50%

You can change these percentage distributions by going to the main page of your account and clicking “Edit Allocation Settings.”

How Kids Spend Their Money

As we mentioned earlier, the money you send to your child’s account includes a “Spend” category.

Using Cash or a Debit Card

Whenever you make a deposit into your child’s BusyKid account, it’s actually being held in a temporary account in a FDIC-insured bank.

So, if your child uses their bank debit card or you give them cash/pay for whatever it is they want to buy, all you have to do is go to your BusyKid account and click on the “Cash Out” button for the “Spend” category. Enter the amount spent and BusyKid transfers that money from your BusyKid account back into your bank account.

Prepaid Card

What makes this category unique is that you can order a BusyKid Spend card from Visa. It’s a prepaid card that’s filled with the money that you put toward your child’s spend account.

You don’t have to use the prepaid card if you don’t want too, though. The money can go into the spend category

Investing With Stockpile

In addition to giving kids a prepaid card for the Spend money, you can also link their save money to Stockpile, a website that allows kids to invest money in their favorite companies.

We did a Stockpile review in early 2017 and were, at that point, unaware of their affiliation with BusyKid.

Basically, Stockpile is a platform through which you can help your kids invest in stocks. Much like BusyKid, Stockpile notifies you by text when your child wants to buy or sell stock. You have the ability to approve or deny the request.

A Quick Word About BusyKid’s Fees

As we mentioned earlier, BusyKid will charge you a fee of 2.9% and $0.30 for transactions you make with your credit card.

Aside from that, BusyKid will charge you a yearly fee of $14.95 to use their financial platform. Just to give you a comparison, budgeting app Mint is free and YNAB is $5 a month.

In our opinion, the simplicity and effectiveness of the BusyKid platform is well worth the annual fee. Why? That’s what we’ll answer in the next section.

The Advantages of Teaching Kids About Finances

One of the principles of Murset’s site is that the sooner you teach kids about money, the better.

“When you teach a kid early on how the relationship between working and money actually happens,” Murset said, “you’re inspiring within a kid this drive to be successful.”

In addition to helping kids set money-management and work habits for the rest of their life, Murset says it also helps parents feel comfortable talking about money.

“At the end of the day, less than 20% of teachers feel comfortable teaching about money; that’s the teacher’s mentality. And the parent’s mentality is, ‘Why aren’t they teaching this in school,’” Murset said. “We really feel this empowers a parent to teach a meaningful life skill that can be used for the rest of their life.”

Public Opinion About BusyKid

There aren’t too many reviews out there about BusyKid, but one of the more prominent ones comes from Macworld.

The popular site gave the financial tool 3.5 stars, knocking it for not having a mobile app and for some functional issues that we didn’t experience when we used BusyKid.

As for actual customers, Murset says parents like the fact that BusyKid pretty much automates a chores system so that they don’t have to keep track of IOUs.

The Pros of BusyKid

We believe, based on our research of this tool and other financial platforms, that BusyKid’s strength is two-fold: the easy-to-use online interface and text messaging system and the low yearly fee.

We were able to understand how BusyKid works very quickly because of how easy the application process works and because the account page is very straightforward. The site doesn’t have a lot of extraneous tools, which makes life easy for busy parents.

The Cons of BusyKid

We’d consider the fact that BusyKid doesn’t have a mobile app as the greatest weakness, although Murset says an app is in development.

Who BusyKid Is Good For

We believe BusyKid is a good fit for parents who want an easy way to manage chores and teach their children about managing money.

If you want to learn more about helping your child understand money, then take a look at our Stockpile review. You’ll pick up on some of the same philosophies you read about here and you’ll learn about how your child can benefit from Stockpile.

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5 Consumer Reviews for BusyKid

Average Consumer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  4
Bottom Line: 20% would recommend it to a friend
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Costs money to start and is difficult to use.

    I paid about $5 per card as well as the fee for the year and used my oldest daughter's card to test it. I put $50 on her card and had her use it. The card was declined over a month ago and the charge has sat in pending this entire time. It is unusable. She now has $50 of phantom money just sitting there. Along with the start-up costs and that money, I have spent more than $120 and cannot get a refund.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful


    • Indiana,
    • Dec 27, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Difficult to transfer money. BusyKid only allows one parent to be on the card. My husband's name and our daughter is listed on the card, so I'm unable to speak to customer service. Customer service says that my child or my husband can call in. How can a minor child call in for anything? This idea is crazy, and the creator is a single parent of 6 children, of course, so he invented this for single parents. I will just be adding my daughter to our chase account so she can have her own debit card where I can control funds.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Scam - makes it difficult to transfer money

    • Pittsburgh, PA,
    • Nov 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    What a scam they have going. They make it seem easy to transfer money to your kids, but they skim off a "small" percentage every time you put that money on your kid's card. Furthermore, I added $20 to my child's account, "just because"... just for doing extra things around the house, and while the busy kid website shows that I added the money, it's never gotten to the card. When I called customer service, they said that I have to email a different customer service to help me. I pushed and they gave me a phone number.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Scam...Buyer beware.

    I signed up initially because I thought it would be a wonderful tool to teach my 7 and 9-year-olds how to save and manage their allowance. It started out great with the app and initial set up but became a headache that is not worth the trouble.

    The first problem I received was an email stating that I requested cancelation (which I didn't!). I emailed support about my cancelation. I received a reply stating that it wasn't canceled and it was still active. The following day I tried numerous times to log in but was prompted that both my email and password were invalid! I send another email stating my difficulties trying to log in. I received an email stating that they needed a copy of my DL, social security card, and a copy of my bank account number or a photo of my credit card. They truly are full of it if they think that I would provide a copy of any of my credentials. Be wary...

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Just started, but like it so far.

    I just downloaded the app for mine and my son's Android. After sitting down with him the first day we started using it, he is already excited about doing his chores. Before I would have to keep reminding him, but now that I think he can see an actual dollar amount growing it may keep him motivated more to do what he is requested to do.

    My only con is that I was always taught not to call it "Allowance" but to call it "Commission." You do the work, you make the pay. You don't do it, and you get nothing. "Commission" puts more of a work ethic connotation to chores rather than "allowing" him to get money.

    But so far, I think the app will help. Good luck to all the parents out there.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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