Created in Stockholm, Sweden, Gimi is designed to help you and your child keep track of their pocket money and chores while providing a financial education along the way. A virtual piggy bank, named ‘Piggy’, fills with the weekly allowance you set, and you can define rewards for specific tasks. Piggy also acts as a “personal advisor”, answering your child’s questions about money and giving them fun incentives to save.
There are three sets of lessons to learn – Earning, Saving and Spending – which you and your child can work through together. They are accompanied by bright animated videos.
Gimi recently introduced a child-friendly Mastercard that parents can preload with money for their kids to use in shops and online, but this is not yet available in the UK. The Mastercard will come with a paid-for subscription (see below).
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Gimi is a fuss-free app that’s easy to understand and use both for you and your child. The app walks you through the steps to get started including adding profiles for your children and setting up their weekly or monthly allowances. It recommends average values and incentives for your child’s specific age. You can also easily add recurring chores.
Your child can install the app on their own device and connect to the parent’s account. They will get notifications for chores you have set and you can even ask for a picture or video proof. Fun animations help to keep them motivated to earn money and they can set a “dream” and save towards it.
Is it safe?
Gimi is not connected to a bank so money is never moved from your real account. Gimi is a tool that keeps track of how much you (or your family members) owe your children. When you give your child the money, you need to deduct that amount from what you owe them. Gimi is, therefore, completely safe as it does not have access to your bank details.
With Gimi Master, the Mastercard is prepaid by transferring money onto it. There is no link to your actual bank account and only money on the card can be spent, so it isn’t possible for your child to go into debt.
As Gimi doesn’t handle real money, there is currently no sustainable option as such. Some of its competitors have honed in on what is available to them, which is making their debit card more sustainable. gohenry, for example, recently introduced a biodegradable ‘Eco Card’, which is made of 82 per cent bio-sourced renewable material (produced from field corn rather than fuel). Rooster Money also has a card that is made from eco-friendly, degradable PVC.
The money prepaid onto the Mastercard is held at Barclays Bank, which doesn’t have the best credentials on sustainability.
Unique selling points
- Visual proof of chores being completed. Being able to ask for photo or video proof of a completed chore is a fun feature that helps to keep children interested.
The plus points
- Automate pocket money. Set a recurring weekly or monthly pocket money with the allowance tracker
- Teach the benefits of savings. Introduce them to interest rates and demonstrate how they can help their savings grow
- Reward chores. Set chores, monitor their completion and reward your child’s hard work using the chores manager
- Keep track of everything in one place. See how much your child has earned, spent and saved in real-time
- Connect with other family members. Enable others to give cash gifts to your child digitally
- Mastercard not available in the UK. Gimi goes a long way to educating your child about earning, spending and saving money, but parents might find it frustrating that they can’t yet take this to the next level which is using real money on a card.
Cost of use
The app is free to use. Gimi does offer a ‘Gimi Master’ paid-for subscription service, which includes a Mastercard that can be preloaded by parents, but this is not yet available in the UK. In Sweden, the cost of Gimi Master is currently equivalent to around £3.45 per month (with the first 15 days free), or £41.60 for the year.
How do these costs compare to competitors?
Gimi’s competitors such as gohenry and iallowance both charge £2.99 per month, which includes the use of a prepaid debit card. Rooster Money is slightly cheaper at £14.99 a year for the whole family to use the app and its more advanced features (such as setting an interest rate on savings), and £24.99 for the year to include the prepaid card and parent account.
It’s worth considering that traditional children’s current accounts usually come for free. So, when you decide to use a prepaid card with a monthly or annual fee instead, you’re paying for parental control and the educational features. While for parents of younger children this might be the main draw, others may feel it’s not worth the fee.
Similar pocket money apps worth considering are:
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