iPhone App Sherpa: Welcome to the 'Bank of Mom'

Most experts agree that one major cause, among many, for the recent financial crisis was an overall lack of financial knowledge among borrowers across the U.S.

With talk of personal finance classes becoming a required part of high school curriculum in some states, we all knew it was only a matter of time before someone took the trend to the iPhone level.

A new iPhone app sweeping the nation’s more involved parental units is called “Bank of Mom.” (Not to be confused with a new similarly titled reality TV show on SOAP net. If you want to read lessons form the show's money guru, click here.) This app aims to help teach your kids the value of money, so they don’t end up like some spoiled My Super Sweet 16 brat begging for an elaborate helicopter waterslide party.

Basically, “Bank of Mom” is a new tool that allows parents to easily keep track of their kids’ spending, borrowing, allowances and privileges. The app purports to be used more for the value of “teaching a financial lesson to children at an early age,” rather than assisting parents in their loan sharking / collection agency duties. After all, no one wants Mom smashing Jimmy’s piggy bank when he’s a few days late on his repayment.

Say your kid asks to borrow $50 bucks to supplement his or her savings for a new bike. The Bank of Mom app will catalog this transaction and keep track of the interest accumulated in the time it takes Mom and Dad to get that $50 back. Mom gets updates on her iPhone which she then shows Jimmy, most likely with some helpful explanation and parental advice. Again, hopefully parents are using this more as a teaching device than an actual means of making money with high interest rate lending. Then again, that would probably be an easy lesson for Jimmy to learn if he ended up owing three times his principal months later.

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