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Savings app-iness for children

Osper and Go Henry Final.jpg

Children’s finances have come a long way – the average British child now gets £11.20 per week! To put a bit aside for your kids (you’ll need to for the pocket money, with inflation the way it is), we have looked at Stocks & Shares Junior ISAs. For parents just starting out, Vanguard is a good bet with low-fees and ready-made investment options. It’s still a bit basic and don’t expect any frills but it’s a very decent way to save for the kids over the long-term. Get going from £100 a month or a lump sum of £500. Vanguard’s Junior ISA is rated highest on our Best Buys by the beginner investors who’ve used it. If you have less to start with, Hargreaves Lansdown is the largest player in the UK and big, strong and solid.

There is help out there when you’re ready to teach your kids how to save and manage money online. I have used Osper for my two – it’s a bank account with a pre-paid debit card attached, aimed at 8-18-year-olds. I load their pocket money onto the app every week and it tots it up and tracks it. They love their cards and it’s a much easier way to manage it than handing out a few coins every week! Savings is categorised so they can see what they are spending it all on. I did have a few gripes with the customer service – speaking to someone on a phone seems impossible and you are pushed to online Chat which drives me nuts. This was nearly enough to push me to rival GoHenry, which is billed as suitable for 6 years and up, but it was a case of better then devil you know!

I suspect both options are much better than the mainstream banking offers. GoHenry is £2.99 per child per month and Osper is £2.50 per child per month.

Finally, I looked at Rooster Money which is an app designed to allocate tasks and jobs against pocket money. It’s really visual and you can make it clear that they need to do the hoovering, rake up leaves and clean the car to get their weekly cash! I think it’s really nicely designed and engaging for the kids – but it’s just a calculator in the end, and with no actual banking attached, it is just a budgeting tool so doesn’t do the whole job. Probably best for families whose kids are older (10+) and have phones or can access this themselves pretty regularly. Or for people who have the time to spend with budgeting tools which are quarantined from the actual payments part of the equation.

 

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