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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Is Cash Really Out of Favour Among Kids These Days?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - What I wrote five years ago remains true today.

According to this Wall Street Journal article, “Kids Don’t Want Cash Anymore–They Want ‘Robux’”, my advice from my Need a Present for Teenagers? The Ultimate Holiday and Birthday Gift Guide article published five years ago is out of date. Having just reread my article, it's as spot-on today as it was then. I advocated for giving cash as a gift, especially for tweens and teens. I also said to not give gift cards as a gift unless they are cash-equivalent Amazon gift cards or prepaid Visa/MasterCard debit cards.

(Round 47 of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program, which ends when 2022 does, gives a prepaid Visa debit card as the top prize for the first time ever. You should try to win that.)

According to the Wall Street Journal article, which only interviewed one child and the rest were parents and marketing executives from various companies trying to financially exploit children, the only thing that teens want to spend money on are useless virtual trinkets in the game platform Roblox, which functions as an Internet minor-containment zone. In other words, without Roblox, tens of millions of stupid, annoying children would instead spend their time infesting areas of the Internet you enjoy today—it's really important that these exist. Anyway, Roblox is free-to-play but also lets world-builders offer micro-transactions that you'd buy with "Robux", their virtual currency. You can load up on Robux with gift cards, which you can purchase in stores (see photo below) or online with PayPal or a credit/debit card.

Typical retail store gift card rack Google Play Roblox GameStop Nintendo eShop Xbox Game Pass PlayStation
Roblox gift cards come with a free virtual item!
Are those any good? I dunno.

According to the Wall Street Journal's one quote of a child,

“Kaylee Robleto, 12, recently bought a virtual Louis Vuitton handbag, while her 10-year-old sister, Ginelle, got a virtual Gucci jacket. Each item cost less than the equivalent of $5 in Robux. ‘If I were to spend money in real life, I’d have to ask my parents to take me to stores,’ Kaylee said. ‘I have control over what I buy on Roblox.’”

Robleto sounds like a made-up name for someone who'd play Roblox. Robleto Roblox.

If a kid is outright asking you to fund their Robux account as their preferred gift, then, yeah, do that. If a kid isn't asking that, then here's one of the best options for a gift:
Visa Mastercard Vanilla Gift Prepaid Debit Cards on retail store rack
For a small fee, you can activate a prepaid debit card that you can use to buy anything, including digitally.

Roblox also has monthly subscriptions that just go right into adding more Robux to your account every month, which the article likens to giving your kid an allowance. As someone who has never had an allowance, I can't really comment on this with personal experience. However, I do reject the idea that kids have no use for physical cash. I mean, kids go to schools and convenience stores. They do money-matches in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. They have vending machines. Older kids need gas money. There's definitely uses for cash. You could exchange gift cards for some of that too, I guess. Those prepaid debit cards are the best alternative.

Do you no longer use or accept cash? Will you (or kids/teenagers that you know) literally turn cash away as that WSJ article was depicting? Let KoopaTV know in the comments section! KoopaTV still gets random buffoons who ask for free gift cards in its comments section, but you need to participate in the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program to get and earn those from the site. The silly people who try to get free things without earning it first never give their contact information.


  1. Yeah, that definitely sounds sus. Like, Roblox is a thing, in 2022?

    1. Well, Roblox stock is down 16% today, lol

      But yeah, there are still tens of millions of American children that play it every day.

    2. Source (which shows higher daily user count in 2022 than 2021... the highest it's ever been):

  2. I think the kid is spot on. The concept of giving them cash doesn't work in terms of the concept and mental focus. Most kids, even some teenagers and adults to be, do not understand the value of a dollar. They don't have the penchant to save or realize that they can't get exactly what they want because there are other things like sales tax that makes what they wanted a higher price. Kids also usually want toys as soon as they see them in store or in a magazine. While there are specific toys that every kid wants, on a day to day basis the specific toy that is may fluctuate as they see somthing new that's even more appealing the next time they go to the store. Most kids don't carry wallets or cash on them, cash is somthing that can only be used at the store when making a purchase, as opposed to robux or any game giftcard which can be used from the comfort of home. Often without a parents help, and with little to no thought.

    It is for all these reasons that i would agree, cash is a much better gift to give. It incentivices the kid to actually remeber to ask to go out and purchase what they want. If they can't do that, whether because of short term memory or general laziness, then the money is saved. Money that can be udigital garbage.

    1. *used for more than digital garbage. With all that money saved, they can buy real garbage!

    2. So your stance is that cash's inconvenience to use makes it an ideal gift for children to teach them a lesson?

    3. Sounds about right!

      Or at the very least it instills some good habits and prevents some of the worse ones from fully taking hold of a child. Children can make decisions on a whim, but the notion that they can afford to buy a more expensive toy because they saved up for it can be a very powerful notion indeed. There's a saying that something means more when you save up and buy it, rather than the instant gratification that numbs you through time.

    4. From the Wall Street Journal...
      "Mr. Robleto, the father in Maryland, said his daughters initially got upset after their Robux allowances ran out before they could buy all the virtual goods they wanted. He then showed them how one of his daughters had paid the equivalent of $9—almost double her weekly chore money—for a single pair of virtual boots on the platform.
      “We did that as an exercise for them to understand how much money one digital item can cost,” he said. “I think it helped them recognize the value of money.”"

      I agree with you that cash would help recognise the value of money way better due to it being a physical object that you can visually see dwindle and disappear. Robux is just a digital number on a virtual ledger that apparently the kids don't do much arithmetic with.


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