When we were young, we noticed several things wrong with our attitude towards money. This attitude stems from two main problems:

(1) The way teenagers and parents exchange money is outdated. Most of the children get cash from their parents. Some children might have regular bank debit cards, but the cards are not teenager-friendly and don’t teach children how to spend money wisely.

(2) Financial literacy, despite its importance, is left out of the education equation. Very few high school and middle school have robust education program for teenagers to learn the skills of money saving, investing, and other important financial skills. This failure of the education system leads to many children having very poor financial literacy. Consequently, we decided to teach children these skills with our apps, since learning from a young age fosters good habits for a lifetime while the consequences are less severe.

What it does

Our team plans on partnering with financial institutions to provide children with personal debit cards linked to the app. There are two versions of our app: for parents and for children.

Features for parents:

Payment Alert: The app will send a text message alert to the phone when a child makes a transaction, detailing the amount spent, the vendor where the transaction was made, and the remaining balance on the card.

Weekly Allowance: Parents can set a weekly allowance where the app will automatically deduct money from the parent's account and send it to the child's debit card. The allowance can always be changed or disabled.

Spending Limits: Parents can manually set a limit on how much money a child can spend at once or within a certain amount of time (a day, week, etc.) or within a certain category of products(games, fast food, etc.)

Payment Restriction: Parents can manually restrict children from buying from certain stores or from using certain payment methods. An alert will be sent if a restriction is violated

Spending Analytics: Offers statistics about the child's daily, weekly, monthly spending habits and behaviors for the parent to review

Features for children and teens:

Save: Children can automatically specify an amount to save daily towards a goal (ex. new iPhone). Parents who approve of the child's plan will match the amount to be saved.

Grow: Children can set aside some amount of money to grow. This money will earn interest from parents.

Tasks: Parents can set tasks for their children to do. Children will receive the money here.

Spend: Children can make payments here, which will be automatically categorized. They can request more money from parents if necessary. They are also allowed to transfer money with their peers who also have Blink.

Borrow: Children can loan money from their parents here. The rules of repayment will also be set up here.

What we learned

A lot of what we learned was the experience with Javascript and React, but we also gained a lot of insight into the meaning of social good. Social good is not just the feeling that you want to be a good person, but a process in which you have to work hard so that you know that your work can truly benefit other people. Working for social good requires commitment and sacrifice, and the road to a functional program is much tougher than we might think.

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