Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Saving for a Rainy Day?

reproduced under Creative Commons license
Well, we’re a few weeks in to the PKTMNY project and the kids are really getting into the idea of saving for goals. They’ve both been furiously adding items to their Wishlists and regularly reviewing what’s on there in terms of amounts saved.

Their cards came through the post and they couldn’t wait for me to register them (and set withdrawal and spending limits – which I’d done when I opened their accounts anyway).  They haven’t remembered their pin numbers (they can barely remember what they’re supposed to do from one minute to the next at times!) but they can click on their page to get it again once they need it.

Are they enthusiastic about PKTMNY? Absolutely.

Do they love the website and having a debit card? Definitely.

Do they like setting up goals and wishlists and monitoring their tasks? Yep.

Does this translate into them actually doing the tasks? Erm, well, hmmm…

My son has downgraded his goal from a PSVita to a Beyblade (wise child) and my daughter has put hairclips on her list so that shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve.  And they’re very enthusiastic about it.  The problem is though, that their enthusiasm doesn’t last beyond us checking their accounts and activity each week.

They’ve already learned to aim for achievable items – like a Beyblade or hairclips – rather than big ticket items and that came purely from being able to see in front of them just how big a gap there was between their pocket money savings and what they wanted.  Far more effective than me simply telling them that they would have to save up for years.

They’ve also learned a little bit about security – we had a long chat about how you had to remember your pin and not write it down or anyone could steal it.  Not only did that ensure they had an almost secret squirrel operation around getting their pin – with neither sibling allowed to be present while the other checked – but they’re also hugely impressed by the fact that their mother can remember 4 pin numbers!

Personally, I like the PKTMNY website.  I think it’s a great idea and both my children love the visual aspect to it, particularly being able to see what they’re trying to achieve and how much they have to spend. 

I suspect though that they’re just a wee bit on the young side (9 and 6) for it to translate into them carrying out tasks to earn pocket money.  That said, they’re far more enthusiastic about the idea that they were before so I’ll be sticking to using PKTMNY. 

It will take a lot more input from me – in terms of cajoling them to do their tasks – than I had hoped.  But then again, perhaps I’m being unrealistic about what a 9 and 6 year old will do to help out around the house.

This post is part of a project with BritMums, sponsored by PKTMNY, highlighting its launch. The new tool allows parents to easily pay and monitor their children's pocket money online, whilst allowing their children to earn, save, spend and manage their money in a totally safe and fun way. We have been trailing the service and all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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