The Christmas Carols are being piped through the supermarket speakers, the cardboard mountains or promotions are carefully positioned to collapse into your trolley as you push past. And you really hope that the kids are watching the BBC in the hope that they won’t be deluged with the latest Hasbro ads.
Yep, it’s Christmas. Which has got us thinking about ways you can use Christmas as a means to get them into the saving game.
Out with the old, in with the new.
An interesting article put together by Gina Ciliberto over on Narritvely looks into how some families in the US are turfing out toys and trying to focus their kids on sharing, giving and steering them away from an excess of toys. As the article discusses, having toys isn’t bad but it does raise the question about stockpiling toys and the impact this can have on how children treat both how they view toys and the way they play. There is a great opportunity to get your kids to think about what they currently use, what festers in the cupboards and encourage them to sell some of the things they don’t want or give them to charity. If they sell them, they will glean a lesson in the value of their toys and you can encourage them to invest some of the proceeds into a savings account (See below). Or, if they give their old things to charity, they will derive huge pleasure, particularly if you get a gift aid report telling you how much the items end up going for.
Open a Savings Account
There is something incredibly satisfying about putting some cash into a savings account and with fivers or tenners coming in from granddads and Uncles, Christmas is the time to do it. On Roosterbank children choose to put their money in their Wallet (to save for a toy or book) or their Safe. Rather than your kids putting all their cash into the Xbox Saving Target they can choose to add money to their Safe – and we pay them Roostie Interest the more they keep in there. If you have family membership, you can specify how much they keep in their Safe and then transfer the cash into a proper savings account. If you haven’t done so already, setting up a savings account which has you child’s name on it will give them great pleasure, particularly if you hunt out a good interest rate. You can add it into a pocket money routine – encouraging kids to save a portion of their pocket money and put it into the account (this is exactly what the Safe is designed to do on Roosterbank) or you can create specific goals – so encourage them to save ‘£X’ by the following year. You can encourage this by creating a saving target in the Parent Area which kids can see in their Saver Basket.
Peer To Peer Lending
No, we aren’t suggesting you turn your child into a loan shark, although perhaps a little less conventional. This is sophisticated and nearer an investment product than it is a savings account but it can be an excellent way to make a higher return (at a higher risk though) and give older kids an introduction into how businesses raise money and what that involves. It is certainly something you as a parent need to set up and manage. You need £100 minimum to invest in something like Funding Circle but if you have a small amount of cash you’re willing to put in yourself, it could be an interesting route for you both. We of course don’t give financial investment advice, so make sure you read up on it and the associated risks. Martin Lewis has done a very good overview here which we recommend you read >