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Teaching kids about finance is so important as a life skill, but its not something they learn much about at school. Even though my children bring home worksheets to complete at home with maths figures to add, subtract and work out the ‘mean’ averages, these ‘hard skills’ don’t teach them about the attitudes, impulses and decisions that come with managing money.

It is one thing to know what change to expect from a tenner when you have spent £6.52 but it is quite another skillset altogether to know how to control the urge to splurge when you see a new One Direction poster but you were saving for those earrings that are on the ‘three for two’ offer at Claire’s Accessories. So I was excited to be part of a team of parent bloggers to trial a brand new system for managing pocket money for children, give feedback on what we thought of the new system and help shape its future development.

The new website is called PKTMNY (this is the words ‘Pocket Money’ with the vowels removed- kind of like text speak) and it is a modern day system developed to educate children about managing money in these ‘chip and pin’ times. Traditionally if parents gave pocket money to their children it was by way of cash in hand. But the old way doesn’t show children how to use and manage ‘plastic’ money like a debit card, and with the PKTMNY online system, kids can see their pocket money adding up as they do chores or whatever is decided they will do to earn money, which could encourage them to save their money and enjoy watching it grow. The tempation with cash being to let it burn a hole in your pocket.

Child Spending

This is a screenshot of the PKTMNY system.

Being part of the PKTMNY tester team has brought the issue of pocket money into sharp focus lately, giving me the chance as a parent, to decide in a proactive way, how I’m going to approach pocket money with my children. It is only in the past few months that my 9 year old has asked for pocket money. She is starting to want to be more independent and make choices, so she asks if she can do jobs round the house to earn money as and when she wants something. Since the summer, we’ve given her the job of feeding the cats each day and for this she earns £2 per week. It is the first time she has had regular money for herself, and knowing she earns the same amount each week has allowed her to learn to budget and save for things like the new Jacqueline Wilson book.

Whilst she has done well in saving her £2 for a few weeks running to get the book, on other weeks when there is no specific savings goal in mind, she has been desperate to spend her money- wanting to buy sweets at the shop or buy those little packs of stickers where she swops the ‘doubles’ with her friends. I don’t mind the stickers so much, they are completely useless and a waste of money in my opinion but she wants them and it is her money, and I think it does her good to squander her money in this controlled way a little bit- maybe she’ll get it out of her system now before the amounts of cash she has under her control are much larger than a couple of quid. But the sweets bother me.

I know every kid loves candy, but the fact is she doesn’t need it. We have sweet biscuits and crisps at home if she fancies a more indulgent snack (which she wouldn’t have to pay for), I don’t like the children having too much sugary stuff from a tooth rotting perspective, and I don’t want her to form bad dietary habits and have to battle with her weight in later life the way I have had to. She is only buying the sweets because she can. They are there and she has the money, and it is not because she wants them or needs something to eat, it is a pointless spend. This is the effect having cash in her pocket has at the moment and I’m hoping to train her out of this through the PKTMNY system.

I’m hoping that as we use the system for a prolonged period of time, my daughter will understand the value and benefits of seeing her money grow in her online account. I have no problem letting her take her money out to buy something she really wants, bookwise or fashionwise. But I think the effect of having the little amounts all accumulated in one place online will amplify the saving message I want to embed. Whereas I believe her current attitude to the cash in her purse is that the amount is so small anyway, it is of no consequence. This is a dangerous thought pattern to remain when it comes to money – all those ‘little amounts’ add up – how else are so many people in credit card debt crises in the grown up money world?

So my aspiration for our use of the PKTMNY system is to develop positive money habits with my children, and open up a dialogue about money in the home, so they can learn about how we manage our finances, encouraging them to do the same…

I’ll let you know how we get on.

This post is part of a project with BritMums, sponsored by PKTMNY, highlighting it’s 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. My family have been trialing the service and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for BritMums for the PKTMNY launch.
Here is the Sponsor’s website

Tagged with: • Finances • • PktMny •

One Response to The Family Finances

  1. [...] is my last post about starting the PKTMNY experience and my daughter’s attitudes to money. She was a typical [...]


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