Contrary to the title, this isn’t a post about selling your kids and how much you can get for them. (Although, there’s an idea.) It’s about kids and their relationship with money. Their money. Your money. (Mostly your money.) I want my kids to understand the value of stuff but have no idea exactly how to teach them this. So when I was introduced to this brand new parenting app, Kidibank™, I was like, ‘WHY has no one thought of this before?’ This post is written in partnership with Kidibank™, the positive parenting app.
‘Can I have my pocket money?’
We’ve been giving our seven year old weekly pocket money for a few months now.
I say giving it. What’s actually been happening is she’s spent a lot of time reminding us and one of us has scrabbled around for a quid. Because who carries cash these days? And apparently, she doesn’t take contactless. She’s then put it in a purse or bag never to be seen again, we go shopping, she sees something she wants to buy and I buy it for her. She then promises to pay me back. She ‘forgets.’ I forget. And on we go.
I think this is what they call payback. Literally. (Sorry Dad for raiding your not so secret coin stash when I was a kid.)
‘How much is £9?’
On the odd occasion Beaver’s remembered to bring her purse out with her, she hasn’t really understood how much is in there and what that can buy. The last time we went shopping she had three £5 notes and a few pound coins. Suspicious, no, when she’s paid in coins? Mmmmmm.
Anyway, she picked up the first thing she saw. A t-shirt that cost £9. ‘I’ll have this,‘ she said. I told her that if she had that it would use up most of her money and she’d only have a few pounds left. ‘Oh I don’t want it then,‘ she said. ‘Unless you want to buy it for me?‘
And there it was. The expectation. I remember it well. Not wanting it enough to part with your own money but being very happy to let someone else buy it for you.
Anyone got an abacus?
Neither of us bought the t-shirt and Beaver ended up spending her money on a toy for her and generously (and rather uncharacteristically) also bought one for her sister.
When I got home it bothered me that I’d been so rubbish at helping her to understand the money side of things. And it often bothers me that Beaver pesters me for things when we’re in a shop, without remembering or caring she already had something last week. None of us want to raise spoiled kids.
But I get it. The expectation. After all, kids don’t really understand the cost to us. So it’s our job to teach them. But where on earth do you start? I want my kids to know the value of stuff and, further down the line, to be in control of their finances when they get older.
And not to sound REALLY dull, but a good relationship with money starts young, right?
Can you tell I’m an accountant’s daughter?
No more cash!
The Kidibank™ app solves this problem (and many more).
It allows you to set up a virtual ‘bank’ for your child and pay virtual money into it. Which means you never have to get caught short again looking for a stray coin. WOOHOO! This could even help when the Tooth Fairy gets caught, erm, off guard. Just saying. ‘Ooh, look at that! That clever Tooth Fairy has paid it straight into your Kidibank.’
Rather brilliantly, you can sync it on your own phone, your child’s tablet (if they have one), and other family members’ gadgets too so you are all looking at the same account (up to 4 adults and 6 kids per account). When you go shopping your child can spend the virtual money (whilst you hand over the equivalent amount via your actual payment method) and your child can visually see how much they’ll have left if they buy that t-shirt or toy or whatever it is they want. This might even mean you can risk the gift shop on a day out. Steady now!
You can also set goals on it so your child can earn extra money. For younger members of the family you can set it to stars rather than money, so you’ve always got a reward chart system with you. Perfect for those times when you’re out and about and your reward chart is stuck on the fridge at home, long forgotten (if you’re anything like me). You can even encourage your child to monitor their own screen time and understand how to save a bit more screen time for tomorrow so they can watch a longer programme, for example or play more levels of a game. Fully customisable with animated characters, the app is all about encouraging your child to think for themselves and allowing them to have some responsibility for their own conduct rather than micro-managing (nagging) them.
An end to nagging? You’re on.
(Now. If it could also just do the school run too and maybe even my washing, my life would be perfect.)