With my son starting Secondary school this year, pocket money is a topic of conversation that has been at the centre of a heated debate in our house! How much do they get? How often? What can it be spent on?
This was always going to be tricky – I have an 11 year old and a 6 year old. The eldest knows what he wants and will save for it, the youngest will spend it as soon as she gets it. My son will happily do jobs to earn money whereas my daughter seems to think that it grows on trees and can be given out freely whenever she fancies!!!!
And so the conversation began – we want our son to have his own money to pop to the shop, on the way home from school if he wants to but we don’t want ALL of his money going on sweets! Equally, it is difficult to give to one without the other and so we needed a plan!
That’s when my attention was drawn to https://www.roosterbank.com
This is a relatively new site that encourages children to save their virtual pocket money! They can then save up for things that they may want to buy via the site. The shop is very well laid out with different categories and you can also search by age group making it easier to find what you might like. Categories include books, music, arts and crafts, figures and play-sets and many more. The children can look at what they might want to buy and add it to their shopping basket. There is a great little gadget in the basket status that shows the children if they have enough money to buy it yet!
As a parent, you can set up regular amounts to be paid into your childs’ account or you can give them a boost! Your child can also request money for doing jobs at home or doing well at school. The money is offered on an IOU basis until the child and you decide that they are going to buy something.
Looking at the site with my kids, we felt that there was lots to see and do, but that perhaps the Dashboard/home page was a little overwhelming for younger children……my daughter was frantically clicking all over the place to see what was what! My son liked the idea of the site itself, but felt that at 11 years of age, it was perhaps a little bit babyish for him and would only really appeal to younger children. He was also struggling to find things that he would want to save up for – music etc he tends to download from Itunes and there was not much else that he felt was really appropriate for his age – he already has a scooter and lots of reading books and is more into his Xbox, so perhaps Xbox live points or games would be a good idea. My daughter on the other hand loved it, she liked the idea of the games and was already pestering me about the jobs that she could do to earn some pocket money boosts! She liked the colours and the games that could be played. She enjoyed sitting down with me and looking through the shop to see what she might want to save up for!!!
And so the pocket money saga goes on……my son gets a monthly amount along with phone credit and at the moment he is squirrelling it away in his money box ready to purchase Microsoft Live points, a new game for his Xbox, parts for his scooter etc. etc. we have agreed that he can take a certain amount of money with him to school each week, so he can “treat” himself to something from the shop now and again.
As for my daughter, she does like the Roosterbank idea, but also likes to have the money in her money box! I think that she will continue to recieve money on a weekly basis (although not as much – we have agreed a £1 foe each year old plus a bonus £1, don’t ask me why!) but that if she starts to pick her clothes up, tidy her toys/books away and generally clean up after herself, then she can earn money by requesting it via https://www.roosterbank.com. She is excited at the prospect of being able to send me an email requesting extra money, and I am equally looking forward to a tidier house!!!!
So for the moment, our pocket money saga has subsided. I am still looking at the possibility of my son having his own bank card (just for withdrawals) as he is now of an age where his bank account will let him have one….but this lends itself to a whole new discussion altogether! Both kids seem happy with the amount of pocket money they are receiving and we are looking into my daughter earning extra bonuses if only to encourage her to be more responsible!
Would love to hear how others have been dealing with the pocket money situation, and also what you think of Roosterbank!!! We have enjoyed visiting the site, and it has been a great way t have a constructive conversation about pocket money…..
Please note: although we were given a voucher to encourage us to visit https://www.roosterbank.com all opinions and thoughts are my own. When reviewing products or services I will always give my honest opinion because otherwise there is no point in carrying out a review!