Tykoon is a money management application designed for children. The application focuses on helping kids develop good spending and saving habits at a young age. Parents can build a task list for their child. Individual tasks can be assigned to individual children on one list. These can include anything from doing the dishes to walking the dog or cleaning a room. The parent determines the reward for completing the task. Tykoon doesn’t restrict parents to monetary rewards. The reward can be anything from a trip to the movies to staying up late one evening. Parents and children can also set a percentage of the child’s earnings that are put into a savings account. The child can see a breakdown of how much they can spend and how much stays in an account. Tykoon also lets children donate a portion of their earnings to a charity.
Tykoon was founded by Doug Lebda and Mark Bruinooge. The application received $1.35 million in Venture funding through RRE Ventures, Rich Thompson, David Bach and others. So far the application has turned quite a few heads. Tech Crunch, The Huffington Post, Chicago Tribute, LearnVest, Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal have all mentioned the application and the positive impact it can have on a child’s financial understanding and development.
Tykoon isn’t a traditional money manager. It is a tool designed specifically for children. This is what makes it truly different than most financial applications on the web. Parents can set up an account and manage chore and rewards for one or more children at a time. The application also lets children and parents determine how to handle earnings. Money can be saved, donated to a charity or spent. The application even provides a list of child-safe products that young user can save up for and order online.
Tykoon has a nice, clean feel to it that is kid-friendly without losing its professional appeal. The interface is well organized and contains no clutter. Users can review their Tykoon space which includes money totals, earning trends and items that the child can save up for. The interface manages to look interesting, with hints of bold color to keep younger eyes interested without becoming a distraction for parents.
A new user can try Tykoon by clicking the orange “Sign Up” button in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The user must click one of two buttons on the next page, indicating whether they are a parent or kid. Kids are asked to enter their parent’s email address to invite them to sign up. An adult must actually make the account. Parents are invited to sign up with Facebook or through Tykoon. Users who choose Tykoon are asked for a first and last name, email address, password, relationship to the child and optional zip code. Another parent can be added using a button below the form. Parents must complete email verification before accessing their account.
Tykoon is available to all families for free. There are no subscription fees and the user doesn’t have to pay anything to save or donate. The application holds the money as a stored value that the user can redeem online as a donation or purchase. The site does not list any transaction fees for adding funds or making purchases. Parents must approve purchases before the money is deducted from the account.
Tykoon is a helpful application for parents who want their children to get a taste of money management. The service offers users multiple ways to save and spend. Children can learn the value of donating to a good cause or the importance of saving up for the things they want and need. The only downside is that the application doesn’t appear to include a cash out option, so some parents may want to limit the amount of cash that goes into the account.