Parents spend day-in and day-out telling the children to do their chores and mark the chart on the fridge when completed.
The nagging can certainly get old quickly, but research shows that it may worth it — according to a 75-year-long Harvard study, children that performed chores are more likely to become independent adults with collaborative traits.
Those hardworking values were at the top of mind for the Robicheau family. But with four kids and busy schedules, Christine and Peter were having a hard time keeping track of who did what on the chore wheel.
“[It’s] just the idea of teaching children consistency and hard work. As a parent you want those to be character traits along with understanding finances and how things work in the real world when it comes to money,” says Christine.
They also experienced a logistical challenge in rarely having cash on hand to provide the corresponding allowance for completing tasks. “We kept saying we wish our kids had Venmo,” says Peter.
After talking to other parents, they created the app Chorez to help families create a collaborative environment around chores in the household.
Parents assign chores to the child through the app and attach a dollar value, or allowance, to each.
The parent links their bank account to Chorez so every time a chore is completed, the allowance can automatically transfer to a Chorez pre-paid card.
The child is able to use the card anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
The dashboard displays all chores completed by the child, with time stamps and allowance. To help children learn more about financial responsibility, Chorez has a ‘fair share’ feature.
“The feature enables the parents to pass the annualized cost of the app onto the children through deductions in their regular earnings. It helps zero out the expense of the parents and teaches children more about ‘taxes’,” says Peter.
The app, available on iOS and Android, prompts kids to take a picture of their completed chore to gain parental approval.
“Our struggle, and the struggle of other parents, is that chores are often not done well. Parents can’t check to see if each chore is completed properly — there just isn’t enough time,” says Peter. “Photo verification lets the parents see a chore before it is approved and gives the kids a visual tool to learn about quality work.”
The app is available on a freemium model, with limited free features and a premium tier for a small annual fee. The family receives one debit card per child once enrolled in the premium model.
To reduce the barrier of entry for parents concerned about safety online, Chorez has partnered with cyber-bullying prevention startup Bark.
“One concern for parents is putting a device in their kids’ hands, which our app requires. This relationship addresses a barrier to entry by putting the best protective software on the market in their hands,” says Peter.
The North Carolina-based startup remains bootstrapped for the time being, with plans to bring on more partners, investors and otherwise in the future. They publicly launched this month after a few months in beta and have seen several thousand downloads so far.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for growth and we’re looking forward to increasing our presence in the fintech ecosystem in the Southeast and North Carolina,” says Peter.
“We hope to add-on more features in the future like savings components as we move to product expansion.”