Both of my children have received pocketmoney for a good few years now as I really believe that learning to manage their own pocketmoney is a great way to help them learn money management skills that will be invaluable when they’re older.
We don’t have rules on what they have to do with their money as I’d rather they learned themselves so I don’t tell them what they can and can’t buy (within reason) and I don’t make them save a set amount out of their weekly allowance. I think this has helped them learn more because they’ve had the chance to make mistakes with their money – they now realise how much better it would have been not to have blown the whole amount on crap within minutes of getting it and they also know that if they want something then they need to save.
Master Frugal is at the stage where he doesn’t want the cash, he likes to leave it with us but keep a count in his head of exactly how much he’s saved so far. He likes to spend his on points for the Xbox and Xbox games which, although not a great way to use his money, is really helping him to understand that if he saves for a little while he can buy himself a treat like a new game.
Miss Frugal is a bit different in that she is always out and about with her friends so she wants to have money with her wherever she goes – just in case! Rather than have her carry cash everywhere, we decided to get her a children’s debit card account.
After a bit of research, I decided not to open her a bank account with a debit card attached to it because I want to keep an eye on what she’s doing at this age and I couldn’t find any children’s accounts that had an app or online banking that we could both access easily. Older teens get this option but younger children don’t seem to.
My second consideration was the fact that I wanted to be able to get money to her instantly if I needed to and although I can get it down to a couple of hours if she had a bank account that used Faster Payments, it wasn’t instant which is what I wanted if ever she was stuck.
And finally, I wanted it to be hassle free – simple to understand and easy to set up and use.
The only problem was that I couldn’t find what I wanted out there so I ended up doing nothing.
But then, funnily enough, Facebook came to my rescue with a post that appeared in my news feed for a company called Go Henry (this isn’t a review, I’m just over the moon that I found them) who offered children’s debit cards without the need to set up an actual bank account AND they have an amazing app that’s split into two sections – parents and children.
In my section of the app, I can set spend limits for her (separate for online, shops and ATM) and I can transfer money to her instantly. Her weekly pocketmoney is set up to auto transfer every Saturday morning as long as I keep the balance topped up (I could use auto top up but I prefer not to). I can see everything that she does and can even set up payment for weekly jobs or one off tasks/rewards if I wanted to.
In her section she can set savings goals, move money from her savings pot to her spending pot and get really in depth info about what she’s spent and where.
We can both put a temporary stop on the card whenever we need to and she can’t remove a stop that I put on it!
There’s quite an interesting (albeit a bit cheesey) video about it here:
I love it because it gives her the feel of financial independence with me being able to keep an eye on everything but there is a small downside though as it costs £1.97 a month to run. I signed up on a free trial for three months and we’ve had it two so far – I’m happy to pay when I start getting charged for the peace of mind I have knowing I can get money to her instantly and for the financial education I think she’s getting.
There are other similar cards out there although Osper is the only one I’ve heard good things about. Osper is free for a year but then there’s a £10 annual charge.
If you fancy trying Go Henry yourself you can get it free for three months and also get a £5.00 credit to start you off if you use this link. Just so you know, if you do try it Miss Frugal gets £5 too! 😉
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