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Who is ‘Piggy’? Learn about Gimi’s in-app companion for kids into financial education

August 12, 2020

Simplistically ‘Piggy’ is a pig who you can find inside the Gimi app, who is every child's best friend and money mentor. Yes, that's the very short version of who the famous ‘Piggy’ is, but why does the digital pixel pig exist and how will ‘Piggy’ help your child with their financial education in the Gimi app?

Keep reading to gain tips and advice on how you as a parent or child supporter can use Gimi’s own Piggy and Piggy’s tricks to give your child the best conditions for financial education.

But to understand the purpose of Piggy - the digital pixel pig, we must first clarify the purpose of Gimi as an entirety; to give children and young people the ideal conditions to become financially literate. This means that through practical practice, theoretical knowledge and social interaction we are able to contribute to the financial understanding of children.

What is financial literacy?

The meaning of the term financial literacy refers to a knowledge of what money is, an insight into its value and an understanding of how money can be earned, saved and spent wisely. Children and young people with a good financial literacy can thereby become more financially independent and have an easier time making wise financial decisions and navigating a financial environment.

The financial environment we live in today and the world that our children will face growing up consists of only a small amount of physical banknotes, coins and physical securities. Instead it increasingly includes digital transactions where money is replenished or deducted from various accounts. It is this financial environment that Gimi is designed to teach children and young people to navigate money and finances in.

Teaching children how to handle cash is of course good, but it does not provide a complete financial understanding since their literacy regarding digital money is lacking. The combination is therefore important. With the Gimi app, we enable the possibility for you as a parent or supporter to combine the handling of cash with a digital tool so that your child can easily understand how money is earned, saved and spent. When you think that your child is mature enough to handle digital money, you can easily make the transition to dealing with real money with the Gimi card. Since the child is already used to the digital overview of the money, the transition from cash to card is usually very straightforward. The Gimi card is a prepaid Mastercard which you can read more about here: How the Gimi card works

At Gimi, it is important for us that financial education is an integrated part of you and your child's everyday life. With the help of Piggy, we intend on improving children’s financial literacy in a way that is fun, inspiring and educational, and easy to collaborate with. You should always feel that you are involved and that you can follow your child's development. Unlike a lot of other educational methods, which can be time-consuming and information-intensive, Gimi is a tool that makes your everyday life easier and saves you both time and worry lines too.

How do I teach my child about money? Piggy has the answer.

Now back to the main question for this blog post; Why does Gimi have a digital pixel pig, Piggy, as a mascot and a constant companion in financial education?

We will shortly dive into this, but not before giving you five fun facts you didn’t know about Piggy:

5 fun facts about Piggy

  • Piggy represents the classic piggy bank that many adults had in the past. But unlike the piggy bank, Piggy is digital and pixelated like characters in TV and computer games (you might have guessed this one!)
  • Piggy lives in cyberspace where everything is possible! In cyberspace, you can have as many dreams and goals as you want and creativity can flow freely around how money can be earned, saved or spent. We let the kids’ imaginations run wild!
  • Piggy is non-binary, so is neither female / girl nor male / boy, or maybe Piggy is both. Regardless, it is unimportant, everyone should be able to identify with the digital piggy bank.
  • Piggy's age is a recurring and attractive question among children. Gimi was founded in 2015 which is when Piggy was born, so theoretically Piggy is 5 years old.
  • Piggy's best friends are a cat, a unicorn and a piece of toast which also can be found in various places in the app. See if you can spot them all!

Read on to find out how Piggy teaches kids how to learn about money

1. The child listens and learns of their own free will

It is well known to most that fictional characters are used to create curiosity and increase commitment. Think about how famous mascots are used to raise the mood, energy and inspiration at playgrounds, in sports clubs and at holiday resorts. Mascots and fictional characters are also featured in magazines, TV shows and computer games to create a relationship with the reader or viewer in different ways, thereby increasing engagement. Things simply get a little more fun when there is a mascot in place, it arouses emotions and contributes to a desire to accompany the journey.

It's the same with Piggy. Piggy is not a teacher or parent that the child must listen to, Piggy is a best friend and a role model that the child wants to listen to. Thanks to Piggy, we creating a positive starting point for the child's voluntary learning, which is something we at Gimi have fought to build over the years with our child community. We want the children themselves to feel motivated to explore, practice and reflect on money and how it can be used.

Children around the world love to chat with Piggy and share pictures of their goal maps (where Piggy is the front figure) is essential proof of Piggy’s companionship and support to children. For us, the children will always be in the forefront of how we improve Gimi, stressing the importance of constantly continuing to make the app a fun and interactive educational experience.

In last week's blog post (which you can find here: How do I teach my child about money?) we described the importance of feeling both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. While the extrinsic motivation is about the child feeling encouraged by the chance to receive a reward or the fear of being punished, the intrinsic motivation is about the child feeling encouraged by a positive gut feeling and an inner joy. In this case, Piggy's task is to awaken the child's intrinsic motivation. A feeling of wanting to chat with Piggy and as a result, learn about money. The child does not receive any external reward through their action but gets a positive gut feeling, which is motivation enough.

How can I as a parent/ supporter benefit from Piggy as a mascot?

As a parent, also you can take the help of mascots like Piggy to awaken the child's intrinsic motivation. Instead of just motivating with carrots and whips (which is good too, the combination is needed) you can try to arouse an interest and a curiosity in the child. Maybe you have a topic that you either find difficult and boring to talk to your child about or that your child does not want to listen to, then take the help of a stuffed animal toy, a fictional troll in the woods or magic box and leave the conversation to these mascots.

For example, you can come up with a story about the troll in the forest which conveys the message you want to give your child. Perhaps the story of the troll can be recurring so that the child creates an emotional connection and thereby listens even more of what the troll has to say. You can also write small notes and put in the secret box that the child can answer or think about. You can use the stuffed animal toys to play puppet theater where the child can have a discussion with the stuffed animal instead of with you.

Hopefully, your child will have an easier time describing their feelings or absorbing your message if they are allowed to converse with a mascot or use a box. Just think how easy it was for you to tell your pet secrets or how much easier it was to write down your feelings in a diary compared to saying them out loud and how fun it was to absorb the facts from your favourite character compared to a parent. Awaken the child's intrinsic motivation and make them become curious and inspired with the help of mascots and fictional characters.

2. Education is always available and is on the child's own terms

Unlike a parent or a teacher, Piggy is always ready to educate the child, anywhere, anytime. We all know how difficult it can be to try to convey a message to a child on a tired Tuesday morning or when he or she is eager to get away on an activity. With Piggy on their phone, the child can choose when he or she wants to receive information and can then quickly gain valuable knowledge and fun exercises no matter where he or she is.

In the Piggy chat, the child can also choose whether he or she wants to read more or is satisfied with the information provided. In this way, the education is individually adapted based on each child's unique situation and mood there and then. Since the child themselves has chosen to absorb the knowledge, the concentration is often even higher, which gives rise to reflection and a basis for a deeper understanding. The fact that Piggy asks if the child wants to know more, breeds a curiosity and interest. Instead, showering the child with information without reconciling would be burdensome.

For us, it is also important that the child maintains a regularity in their learning and makes it a natural part of everyday life. Therefore, we have chosen that Piggy picks out the gold nuggets of knowledge, mostly about money and finances but also about how to be a good friend or facts about the world, and tells it in small short pieces on the way home from school or during a break in the gaming. We therefore want education, with the help of the Piggy chat, to become a natural part of everyday life and make it result in thoughts and reflections which are an important part of a child’s development.

How can I as a parent benefit from my children’s independent learning?

Repetition and reflection is a positive process for children's learning. Therefore, take the opportunity to deepen your child's knowledge by asking your child what Piggy told him or her today and then ask what thoughts came up from these conversations. This way, you give your child an opportunity to repeat the information and reflect on their knowledge, which creates better conditions for financial literacy in your child.

The fact that you also transfer the responsibility to Piggy and it’s information means that the conversation is not perceived as a homework interrogation but instead as a conversation filled by curiosity and an interest of their new friend. Also take the opportunity to gather the family during a movie break on a “cosy Friday” and chat with the pig all together, then the education will, if possible, become an even more natural part of your everyday life.

3. The benefits of your child feeling noticed, supported and energised by financial literacy

In order for the child not only to want to chat with Piggy, but also feel motivated to practice the financial literacy practically, the digital pixel pig can be found everywhere in the app. Regardless of whether the child visits his or her goal map or reviews his or her statistics for expenses and income, Piggy is in the corner, like an amulet of happiness and a trusty reminder that the child is seen and that their actions have been noticed and appreciated.

In this way Piggy supports the child through quantitative and qualitative presence. The quantitative presence consists of Piggy "seeing" the child everywhere and being included as a picture or perhaps a gif in different places in the app. The child can find the gifs here: Giphy and use them in their social channels by searching for "gimitheapp".

The importance of the qualitative presence is something that is supported in an article from Rädda Barnen where the psychologist Hanna Weyler Müller describes the following (read the whole article here Stärk relationen – så maxar du livet med barnen:

“Everyday life is important, like taking time for relaxing on the sofa. Sit on the couch with an older child and just talk or watch the child's favorite program together. Simply be interested in what the child is doing, it does not have to be complicated.”

With Piggy as a companion in the Gimi app, we want to strengthen the child quantitatively, while the chat has a qualitative purpose. As the chat touches on the child's intrinsic motivation, Piggy is also available as an aid to strengthen the child's extrinsic motivation, the motivation that comes from a desire to receive rewards and external confirmation. For example, Piggy gives fireworks effects and points when the child has reached his or her goals or has taken a milestone on the way in the goal map. The gamified aspects of the app create an extrinsic motivation that makes the child want to fight on. Piggy is their own personal cheerleader, if you like!

How can I as a parent benefit from Piggy’s always on presence?

Remember that your commitment and participation plays a big role in the child's desire to develop and learn more. In the Gimi app, you as a parent can always be involved in and support your child's financial literacy by providing chores, setting up a savings bonus and being interested in the child's savings goals. Remember to praise the child's achievements, not only the results, and occasionally encourage them with external rewards.

Also remember that you can invite more supporters to Gimi so that other adults can also be a part of the child’s support network. By doing this, you show your child that their savings goal can be fulfilled faster if he or she takes the help from more people in his or her environment, for example by mowing grandfather's lawn or helping the step mother to clear the storage.

Feel free to gain some inspiration for chores by reading this blog post: Gimi's weekly calendar where you can schedule the tasks directly into your calendar. If you want guidance on how to set up the participation from other supporters, you can look at this guide: Guide for a modern- family set up


Summary

Piggy is included in the Gimi app as a constant companion in order to develop your child's financial literacy by:

  1. Use mascots to get your child to listen and learn of their own free will
  2. Use Piggy to deepen your child's financial understanding through rehearsal and reflection
  3. Support, pepper and pay attention to your child's financial development by participating in the Gimi app

Are you ready for smarter pocket money?