Danielle was featured in the Menlo Park Patch!
Young Mensa member designed “bankaroo” to help kids learn how to manage their money. By Vanessa Castañeda
Danielle Gafni, 11, was at the store with her dad and saw something she wanted. Naturally, she asked Dad if she could have it.
But Dad, Etay Gafni, didn’t want to buy it for her, so he told Danielle she should use money she had earned doing chores. Danielle said ok. Then Dad reminded her that she didn’t have enough.
Danielle couldn’t remember what she had spent her money on, and neither could Dad. That’s when the wheels in her head began turning.
“What if we create an app that helps me remember what I bought, how much money I’ve left to spend, and helps me save for the more expensive things I want to buy later?” Danielle asked.
And so bankaroo was born.
Bankaroo is a web-based application that teaches children how to manage their allowance money, while keeping track of their expenses. Kids can also set goals for future purchases.
“You know how kids always come to you and say ‘buy me this, buy me that,” said Nili Gafni, who is Danielle’s Mom.
“With bankaroo, parents can say ‘well let’s take a look at how much money you have and see if you can do it by yourself. If costs more than what you have, then you can make a goal on bankaroo,’” Nili said.
The free application will work on any device that has access to the Internet, and will parse HTML 5. It features a colorful user interface that is designed for children ages 5-13.
“Thirteen is about the age when parents open up bank accounts for their kids,” Nili said.
Her family started working together to turn this idea into a product about six months ago. Danielle ideated and refined the vision for the product, after finishing the homework her teachers at La Entrada Middle School assigned her, of course. Mom and Dad made the wireframe. The coding was outsourced.
Mom, Nili Gafni, said Danielle is always coming up with ideas and pitching them to her Dad, who works in software development. While not all of Danielle’s ideas have made the cut, Etay said this one addressed a real need in the world, so he decided to help her build it.
The application launched in private beta about two and a half months ago for friends and family and has 185 users so far. The public beta version launched about two weeks ago and is available at bankaroo.altair-digital-solutions.com/wp/.