Pocket money via app: How a 21-year-old learns to handle money

Most young people can handle smartphones without any problems. With less money, on the other hand – although around 3.3 billion euros are distributed each year in pocket money in Germany, only to children aged six to 13 years. It used to be the piggy bank that was supposed to make it have and not have understandable. But in an increasingly digital world, money is increasingly becoming an abstract construction. When in doubt, it means that children are more likely to lose the envelope with the monetary gift from their grandparents than their smartphone.

Katja Alcam is also familiar with such situations. “There were several situations where we found money in some cans and cups while cleaning up, which my children had completely forgotten,” the mother of three girls says. At the same time, however, she had to realize that her daughters would increasingly pay for themselves. They were tempted by online shopping or the App Store. “The desires aroused by ads and social media, for example, are great,” she says.

As a self-employed entrepreneur, it is important for her that her children receive a good financial education. But “the school does not learn anything in that regard,” she states resignedly.

Children need to learn how to handle money through bling

Nils Feigenwinter has had similar experiences: “After twelve years of schooling, I looked back and realized: Nice, I can now recognize Pythagoras’ theorem and the mountain stones, but I have no idea about saving or managing money responsibly.” of Swiss find that their schoolmates had shockingly poor financial skills.

It gave the 21-year-old a business idea: He developed the banking service “Bling”, which is specially designed for families and which children can use to learn how to handle money in a safe space.

How does bling work?

The concept is based on an account solution with prepaid cards and app. The children and young people can use the credit in the account, but do not overdraw it. Debt is impossible. In the app, which Feigenwinter has developed together with educators, there are two views: one for parents and one for the child.

Parents can top up their parental balance anytime and anywhere and then distribute this to their children. There are also features to prohibit certain expenses, such as purchases on account or subscriptions. Even individual dealers can be excluded.

“The older the child gets, the more parents can lift the restrictions on bling, and the more independently the child can act,” Feigenwinter says. It is also possible for parents to make task plans. In this way, they can “send money to their children for tasks such as ‘cleaning the room’ and thus learning the value of work.”

The children, on the other hand, can use the app not only to track their income and expenses just like their parents, but also to set savings goals – for example, to buy a new bike. Based on this, you get savings tips.

Bling: “Learning by doing”

Feigenwinter believes that having your own account with the accompanying card not only feels cool, like stepping into the world of adults, but that the personal economy can also be mastered in the future through the “learning by doing” concept.

“We will only trigger a paradigm shift if financial education is fun and children and young people can have their own experiences,” Feigenwinter is convinced. The goal is for children to be able to handle money independently by the age of 18 and no longer need bling.

Bling’s basic offer in Germany starts at just under 3 euros a month. If you can not afford the monthly subscription, you should contact Bling. “We want all families to have access to digital financial education,” says Feigenwinter.

André Schürrle and Verena Pausder are involved as investors

Meanwhile, Feigenwinter has been able to win well-known investors like La Famiglia for its concept. He also received money for his young company from angel investor Verena Pausder and football world champion André Schürrle.

“Bling is very relevant to me for two reasons: Firstly, as a father, I think it is good to strengthen children and young people’s financial skills. Secondly, as a former professional footballer, I know how important it is to learn how to handle money well and sustainably at an early stage – many people fail because of it, “Schürrle explains his support.

That Nils was only 20 years old when he presented his idea to them made no difference to him or to the other investors.

In any case, self-employment is not a completely new area for the Swiss. In 2015, he founded the media offer Tize.ch, which developed into the largest school and student newspaper in Switzerland.