Solve the pocket money problem and stalk your children. Win/win.
For those lucky enough to have children, the issue of pocket money rears its ugly head sooner than you might think, although it could be said that you are never too young to learn about how to make the most of a small amount of money.
However, with a myriad different ways to pay for stuff these days, none of which involving actual cash, the practicality of paying out pocket money can become a problem. Who has that many pound coins. So modern technology comes to the rescue again with some apps that take the hassle out of paying pocket money AND give you an innocent way to stalk your child.
There are two main apps, GoHenry and Osper. Both work on the basis of parents funding a bank account for the child, and the child has a debit card (partnered with either Visa or Mastercard respectively) that allows them to spend their money wherever a debit card is accepted, or to withdraw cash from a cash machine. They cannot spend what isn’t there, so there’s no risk of them getting into debt, but it does allow them to practice saving and spending before they are let loose on the world of credit cards at 18.
As an added bonus, the apps, through which you manage actually paying your children their weekly/monthly income, provide you with an instant notification of spending on the child’s card. This means that you can check-up on your little darling to make sure they are where they say they are, provided they are spending money doing it, of course.
But while this is less likely to be an issue for the eight year olds (the youngest age you can get one of these cards), they can run right up to age 18, although whether the pocket money will still be flowing at that point is perhaps another question. You will need access to at least one device (smart phone or tablet) so that the parent can manage the funding, and the child can check their balance and purchase history. Cards can be blocked immediately should the card get lost (likely) or stolen.
Of course, these people are not providing this service out of the goodness of their own hearts and there is a charge. GoHenry currently gives you three months free, and then charges £1.97 per child per month. Osper is free for a year, and then costs £10 per card per year.
So if you don’t want to pay out anything extra in pocket money, or you just don’t like the idea of an eight year old with plastic, you could try Roosterbank which is an app that does it all virtually- basically keeping a record of how much you owe your child in actual money. The child can save their pocket money for something (and earn ‘interest’) and you can deduct ‘money’ from their account when you buy them something. Basic membership is free, but has limits on the number of transactions. The app also includes games (with premium features) and a shop selling actual toys etc, although they can’t physically pay for things themselves as there’s no real money in their account. Again there is an iPhone app, but there is also a desktop version. Roosterbank also allows you to pay children extra for doing extra chores. Bit like bob-a-job. But a bit more expensive.