Learning the value of money

By  November 26, 2012

PurseChildren today have a completely different relationship with money than we did a generation ago.  As we live in an increasingly cashless society, so too do our our children; bank accounts with debit cards are available to children as young as 11, allowing them an online shopping experience similar to that of an adult.   So how can we teach our children the value of saving, earning and safe spending, without the tactile, visual spending experience of getting that £1 a week pocket money and spending it in the corner shop?  Here are some ideas to help your child start to understand the financial world that we live in:

Pocket Money

  • This doesn’t have to be a right, it can be earned.  Perhaps sit down together and assign a few jobs around the house that your child will commit to do each week in return for an allowance – make bed, wash lunch boxes, empty bins – these obviously need to be age appropriate, but it’s a great way of rewarding hard work and effort and instilling the knowledge that money does not grow on trees – there is a value to money – it is earned through hard work.
  • Another option is to have a list of jobs, assign a value to each, so the child can choose what they want to do and so how much they will earn – this is great if they are saving up for something special as it gives them the means to earn more (within reason!)

Shopping

  • Involve your child in the shopping list, if you use money off vouchers, make sure they understand the concept and that a few savings here and there can add up to a big discount from the final bill.  Explain how certain brands are cheaper than others and how important it is to shop around for the best price

Celebrate saving:

  • If your child has saved hard for something, consider rewarding them by meeting them half way and matching what they have saved.

Going out to eat:

  • Compare menu items and prices (e.g., ordering water vs. soft drink).  Show them the bill at the end of the meal, talk about tips and taxes.  The lesson is about double-checking to make sure you know where you money is going and that the bill is correct, and that there is no such thing as a “free meal.”

Withdrawing money from the Cash Machines:

  • Teach them about the “invisible money” at ATMS and how it really works – it isn’t free – you had to earn it and save it (e.g., how it is connected to a bank).  Take this opportunity to take a tour of a bank or credit union (include a visit to the vault and your safe deposit box if possible) – explain how a bank works.

Once you’ve mastered these basics, help is also at hand in the form of a newly launched interactive web based system designed to allow parents to help their children learn the value of money, saving and sensible spending.  PKTMNY has been developed by a group of parents who recognised that children have been left behind when it comes to using money in an increasingly cashless world. They identified the need for children to be able to learn about money in a controlled way that helps them understand its value. It launches following a beta programme in conjunction with BritMums, the UK’s largest parent blogging network. This will ensure PKTMNY best meets the needs of children and families across the UK and builds a community of mums who will help co-create the PKTMNY service into the future.

PKTMNYThe concept behind PKTMNY is that it provides children with a contactless prepaid VISA debit card, which unlike other debit cards available to children, can be personalised by the parents for their child by setting controls on where and how much they can spend. It is the first card to have such functionality and is linked to an online platform featuring interactive, age appropriate tools that make managing money, saving and spending fun, engaging and real for children.

PKTMNY reflects how children access and want to learn using technology and the internet. Ofcom¹ data shows 91% of children aged five to 15 in the UK have access to the internet and, according to Future Foundation research, the main reason that seven to 11 year olds go online is homework2. Despite this, children haven’t had access to relevant and safe ways of managing, spending or learning about money online. PKTMNY research found while two out of three (69%)3 children have a positive association with money, only 14% feel strongly that they are in control of it.

As well as helping children manage money, parents can use PKTMNY to make it easier for relatives to gift safely and securely towards savings goals set by the child. Parents simply create a Family Network for their child using the PKTMNY platform by inviting relatives to gift, for example at birthdays or Christmas, towards their child’s saving targets. By doing so, relatives are part of helping their loved one learn sound financial behaviour.

Over time, the PKTMNY Shop will develop to give families added value through special offers and discounts designed to help family money go further. This is integrated within the PKTMNY platform and offers families access to carefully selected age appropriate retailers including The Entertainer, Superdry, Hamley’s, New Look, Zaavi and more.

The launch is just the start of PKTMNY’s development. In the next months, PKTMNY will launch iOS and Android apps that allow parents to directly top up money into their children’s account and lets children view their balance on the go.

For more information or to register http://www.PKTMNY.com