Part of raising your children to be responsible, well-adjusted adults is to teach them about money—how to save it for the future, share it with others and spend it sensibly. Goalsetter, Tanya Van Court’s digital savings and gifting platform, will get youngsters interested in setting goals and saving for them, all while having fun and significantly raising their financial IQ—lessons that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. Parents may just learn a thing or two also!
Tanya is the exactly right person to create and lead Goalsetter. She has had a long and successful career engaging youngsters, nurturing in them a love of learning, empowering them and entertaining them as an executive at Discovery Communications, a Senior VP at Nickelodeon and President of the Board of the Institute of Play.
It’s easy to get started on Goalsetter. Firstly, it costs nothing to create an account. You’ll be asked if you want to contribute something monthly ($1, $2, $5—whatever you want) to help in their support of children’s charities, but it’s not required.
After entering name, address, etc., you are asked to enter little Ethan’s or Emma’s goals. There are two default goals: Savings Account and Education Fund, and Ethan might want to add, for example, a Darth Vader bike, a trip to Cooperstown and a MacBook Pro.
You can then set up ways for you to help Emma reach her goals:
Auto-Save: Designate an amount and how often you want the funds transferred from your bank account, debit card or credit card, e.g., $5 every two weeks.
Round-ups: Every time you use your debit card to make a purchase, you give Emma’s Goalsetter account the change. For instance, you spend $3.76. Your debit card is charged with $4.00, and Emma receives $.24. It doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up!
You can also use Goalsetter to dispense the children’s allowance in whatever way your family prefers, and they choose to save it, share it or spend it.
- Set it and Forget it: Ethan gets $5 a week automatically.
- You’re on the Payroll: Emma has to complete certain chores to receive her allowance.
- Entrepreneur-in-the-Making: You make up a list of chores and what you are willing to pay to have them done. Ethan and Emma each choose which chores to do and, therefore, how much allowance they will receive.
Also, parents, rest assured that Goalsetter accounts are FDIC-insured and are protected with the same high-level security as your own bank accounts.
Other family members and friends can get in on the fun and help Ethan and Emma achieve their goals. As unimaginable as it may be, children today receive more than $30 billion in gifts a year. We should be diverting at least some of that into more productive channels through GoalCards, digital gift cards that cost only $1 (plus processing fees charged by debit and credit card companies).
When sending out the invitations for gift-giving occasions (birthdays, graduations, bat mitzvahs), include Emma’s Goalsetter link. Your guests will then be able to go to her account and choose “GoalCard,” enter a dollar amount, assign it to one of her goals or let her decide which one. Your guests will thank you—they need only click a few buttons instead of going on a time- and energy-consuming shopping trip.
It’s just as easy to “cash out.” Once Ethan reaches a goal, he clicks on (what else?) “Cash Out,” and the money is transferred directly into your linked bank account.
Tanya is a firm believer in giving back. Five percent of Goalsetter transactions go to charities that benefit children: Save the Children, Purple Feet Foundation, Association to Benefit Children, Waterkeeper Alliance and Girls Who Code.