A new smartphone service called Ourly.help has launched that pays kids to do chores.
Parents can assign chores for the children to do and pay them an allowance when the chore is complete. Kids send before and after pictures through the service to prove that they did the chore, and parents then approve the payment.
Parents can choose from a list of 24 suggested weekly tasks (for example, cleaning their bedroom or sweeping the kitchen floor) or design customized chores. Then, they can set the frequency and monetary value of each of these jobs.
Ourly.help helps kids actually get the chores done by notifying them of their tasks for the day, sending reminders, and providing detailed job instructions. These features minimize the amount of time parents need to spend nagging.
The app also encourages kids to save up their money by showing them a pie chart of how much they've made, spent, and donated, according to Business Wire.
The app is designed for kids ages 7 through 17.
Ourly.help CEO John Malone said:
"What parents are looking for is the right way to give their kids money and have meaning behind it."
Kids can spend the money they earn through the Ourly.help gift card store. To find out what gift cards to stock, the start up surveyed kids about where they like to spend their money and picked the top 50 options. Parents can see where their children are spending their money.
The app also plans to release junior MasterCards to allow kids to have more flexibility for spending, reports Olivia Vanni of BostInno.
Ourly.help also asks kids to donate part of the money they earn, with the option to opt out if they want to keep all their proceeds. So far, every kid has donated.
Malone, who is the parent of three teenagers, pays for his son to play soccer, but now he makes his son work to pay off soccer through Ourly.help.
Malone said that the app fits the common activities that parents already pay for:
"We're giving them the money anyway. The scary part is we give themâ¦ an average of $780 a year without them doing anything, so they don't connect with that money and don't feel any sense of responsibility linked to it."
Right now, Ourly.help charges parents $1.95 every time they load money into their account as a transaction fee. However, they may transition to a subscription-based model in the future.
Ourly.help also introduces a way to educate kids about the value of time and money, Malone said:
"The conversation about money and values should happen, and this is a way you can start it. Instead of sitting down with them and telling them what they don't get paid for and what they do, this shows them and lets them work for it."
Ourly.help was created when Dennis Sullivan wanted to hire a local kid to rake his leaves. He asked entrepreneur Bret Siarkowski why he couldn't book a kid to do this online. Together with John Malone, his partner Elizabeth Collins, and their friend Margot Ricci, they created Opprtuna. However, they discovered that Opprtuna's main user base was parents and family members hiring their own kids to do stuff around the house. They went back to the drawing board and created Ourly.
Cambridge Innovations partnered up with Ourly.help to develop its platform, reports Cambridge Technology Enterprises. Cambridge Innovcations has also worked with RoadZen, Causemo, Authess, MyCrowd, and Anthill Ventures.