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MoneySaving Tips for Newsround’s nine-year-olds

MSE_Jenny Posts: 1,312 MSE Staff
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's "MoneySaving Tips for Newsround’s nine-year-olds" blog. Please read the blog first, as the discussion follows it.



  • jpjp_2
    jpjp_2 Posts: 23 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Perfect timing. My son is 9 and we have been talking about "money and business" recently in its various forms for the last 6-9 months, and will continue to do so. We are lucky in that there is a family business which my father owns/runs which my son can relate to, and I can often use examples from there to explain business ideas. Here are a few other areas I have been working on with him, mostly with success - some also applicable to my daugher aged 7.
    • saving money, good old piggy bank approach. Can't buy what you want until you have the money - he wants a pair of "Heelies" (trainers with wheels under the heel) and he won't get them until he has saved up. Consider how much left in the piggy bank after he's bought them. How long will they last - his feet grow, or the fashion moves on. Residual value - what would a used pair fetch on eBay, and should we really be getting a pair from there? He's been sharp enough to ask to borrow money, but my answer was "no"
    • pocket money is not a "given", it gets earned through good behaviour and results. Ultimately I have a target figure in my head of what I expect to pay per week and it does all pretty much even out to that, but my two kids don't know that and have the "need to earn" ethos built in already
    • extend your supermarket idea to the child's ability eg. comparison between same items of different size (eg. the age-old Tesco trick of charging more per can of Stella for a pack of 20 than a pack of 12.. yes, really!) and items of different branding/quality (eg. Tesco Value v well-known-brand v Tesco Finest). I once got him to add up in his head everything I put in the basket and asked him to tell me when I was getting near £50 as that was all I wanted to spend (my parents did that to me!), and then got him to choose what to discard when I went over my "budget"
    • online "business games for kids". Simple ones like www.lemonadestand.com or something a bit more complex like www.bizworldgame.com have kept him quiet for a good deal of time in recent weeks.
    • fantasy stock market - we started with an imaginary £10,000 and was limited to the FTSE-100 companies. Set up a portfolio in Yahoo!Finance and a few simple rules (eg. you can tell me what you want to buy/sell each evening, and there is a transaction fee for each purchase) that way it taught him to do some basic research to find out what the company does, and then discuss with me how I thought that industry was doing and what other companies to compare to. Break-even thus far!
    • talking to your kids about what you actually do at work, the good things, the less interesting things, the sort of people you have to work with, where your customers are, what they do, etc. An ideal way of any working parent spending more time with his kids - Remember, no one has the epitaph "I wish I had spent more time in the office"...
    • not spending loads of money on kids for Christmas/birthdays. An ideal way of teaching children by example "cut your garment according to your cloth". "No, sorry, you can't have an xBox because they cost this much and I can't afford it"
    I will be watching this thread with great interest for other ideas!
  • mini
    mini Posts: 833 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    My eldest daughter watches Newsround & absorbs the information like a sponge, please Martin go on it & tell her to save. For my 2 daughters I remind them in the year if they put extra money in their banks they will get more money, the interest & we try & guess how much it will be, I tell them it is money to say well done for saving so hard. The downside of saving is when they see things is they know in theory they have the money however I don't want them spending £70 etc on a baby annabell changing thing etc.

  • expertwannabe
    mini wrote:
    however I don't want them spending £70 etc on a baby annabell changing thing etc.

    I know that feeling!
    However I have found it helps to have something specific for your 9 yr old to save up for. my eight yr old son wanted a puppet which cost £35. he had seen what he wanted at an annual festival we went to last year, and was going to go to again this year. He had a whole year to save up out of his pocket money and, with lots of encouragement, has done it.

    If you don't let them spend the money on the things they have saved up for, there is less motivation to save.

    Tip for 9 yr old: Write down a plan of what you want to buy and how long it will take you to save up for it. Stick it on the fridge. Try and stick to the plan! Ask parents how to earn more money ( e.g. by doing jobs around the house)!
  • Wyndham
    Wyndham Posts: 2,468 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    My earliest and best lesson in money management was when I was about 9 years old (several years ago now!) I wanted a camera and had seen one in a box set, with a film, a case and a flash unit. It was £10. My pocket money was £2. My parents said that if I wanted it I had to save as they couldn't afford to spend £10 on me because if they did they would also need to spend £10 on each of my brothers. Money was tight when I was a child!

    So, for five weeks I didn't buy anything else with my pocket money, and saved it all. At the end of the time I bought the camera. I realised during that 5 weeks that if I wanted the camera, then that was what I had to do. If I chose to spend the money on sweets etc. instead then it would be longer until I got the camera - and I really wanted it.

    I still have it. It's a 126 instamatic and I don't think you can get film for it any more. The film and flash are long gone, but the camera and case are still there - if slightly more battered than they were when new.

    It represents something much more than a camera, it represents my first and most important lesson in money management, and for that reason I'll never get rid of it.
  • Swattie
    Swattie Posts: 729 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    For several years now my DD & I have a twice yearly clear out of all the stuff she's outgrown and sell it on.

    Videos, books, DVDs and games get sold on Amazon, higher value & larger items get sold on the local ad boards in Tescos etc, and everything else gets sold at the twice yearly NCT (National Childbirth Trust) nearly new sales.
    And she get the money (as its her stuff) to go into her savings account where she's saving up for University.

    Now and again we do a car boot to sell whats left over & my stuff - and anything left over goes to the local charity shop.

    But the biggest money saving tip from my DD is - never take any money with you when you go out with Mum, Grandparents as they'll cough up for treats and you never have to spend any money!!!!!!
  • Robert_Sterling
    If you save £100 now it will be worth £160 when you are 18.
    This is totally misleading.
    It ignores the erosion of "worth" due to inflation.
  • edda
    edda Posts: 1,057 Forumite
    First Post
    Check out if your friends have the item you want before you buy.

    Do they use it - if so, can you share with them (e.g. a game - you could play with them and then do the same with something you have and they would like to play).

    If not - can you exchange something with them for the item. Or maybe they tell you its just not worth it (and save your own money).

    Buy different books or PC games that you both want - and you can have access to each others (your own little library resource),
  • schoolfundraiser
    My thrifty 15 year old daughter (recently bought herself an expensive laptop after saving birthday and Christmas money and pocket money for THREE YEARS) wants a DS Lite. She has the money in a high interest savings account but is going to wait until after Christmas in the hope that the price will go down. However if she sees a special offer in the meantime she has the money to bag it there and then. (She now has a debit card with her NatWest current account so can also buy on the Internet and take account of savings there.)

    But it is good advice to buy in the Sales. Ask for money for Christmas and birthdays and shop around afterwards for the best deals!!!

    (Thrifty Daughter has had pocket money since she was three and learnt early about penny sweets and having money left over for next time. We started on daily pocket money of 5p and went on from there)
  • schoolfundraiser
    If Thrifty Daughter forgets her card and I have to LEND her money I always make her pay it back asap.

    If she really doesn't have any money at the moment then I have a selection of jobs I hate and which are worth paying money for someone else to do! Trellis painting is a favourite as is washing the car.

  • bambam_2
    bambam_2 Posts: 163 Forumite
    My son and his friends do a comic swap each week (comics are so expensive and they only read them once). The parents are involved so that we know who's turn it is to buy. It means they don't have to buy every week but they never miss an episode of the Beano or Dandy!
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