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Dibs - Money management for kids

Service Design


Team — 
Kilian, Maya and Retno
Classroom project at Aalto Media Lab

Role — 
Research, Concept Development, User Experience, Visual Design

A study conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and George Washington University found that Millennials are educated, but not about finance. 24% demonstrated basic financial knowledge and 54% expressed concern over repaying their student loans. These numbers are staggering. Financial education is not integrated into our school systems, and even within families not talked about enough. And suddenly when adulthood hits we must learn to make important decisions regarding our money with very little or sometimes no experience. Dibs is a money management service for kids. 

Parents and children can open joint bank accounts and use Dibs to manage monthly allowances.

Dibs has two versions, one for the child and one for the parent. Kids can use it to manage their money by creating budgets and tracking their expenses. The app helps them save by letting them choose their own goals and provide them with a savings plan. A section of the app is dedicated to help kids learn more about investing, stocks, interest rates, mutual funds etc. Parents can easily track their child’s expenses using the app plus have full control of them. Dibs is a safe environment and helps kids with their first steps into the financial system, with a bank account that grows and adapts with them — from childhood to adulthood.

"According to an ING International survey, kids who receive pocket money are more likely to save money. As kids we are constantly told to save money, but not fully explained how to go about it."

To understand the viability of our concept and of the target age group's current outlook on money management, we did a workshop with some kids and their parents in which we simulated our service through paper prototyping tasks. We started the workshop by getting the kids to think about what things they would buy at which age and the parents were also asked to do a similar activity for what they thought their kids should buy at various stages in their life. Bringing kids and parents together sparked a discussion which helped us see the field we are looking at. Making them talk together helped us see what kids thought was important vs their parents' views.

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We conducted user workshops with paper prototypes to understand the validity and reach of our concept

To helps kids understand budgeting they would need to categorize their spendings into wants, needs and goals. By creating and following a budget, Dibs motivates them to spend their money responsibly according to their own goals, by saying that spending money isn't bad as long as there is planning involved.


Dividing your budget into wants, needs and goals is an easy way to understand where your money should go

The entire premise of Dibs is based around the fact that kids learn through real time money management. This is not a game with fake money, but a secure service that lets them spend on real things that they want/need. Allowing kids to create their own goals is a way of getting them to be more in control of their spendings. It would make them feel more capable and also the ability to have shared goals with friends or siblings makes saving more fun.
The dibsionary is a place one can go to for a more theoretical understanding of the financial world. It includes easy to understand videos and infographics to explain various terms and concepts. The aspect of learning is embedded into all the different parts of the app.

Creating goals and saving for them makes money management more fun

While designing the service, one important thing to remember was that the application had to be fun to use. Adding enough features for kids to feel independant, but make the parents feel comfortable about giving their children the freedom to learn was the balance we needed to maintain. The parent application would show the expense history of the kids, but the way the kids budget their spendings is totally up to them. 

paper prototypepaper prototype

Wireframing the experience of the application.

Maya Pillai —
Digital Designer

Notes —
This website was made with Semplice
It uses Futura PT