Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Roosterbank...Reinventing Pocket Money

As a parent to five kids who rarely uses 'real' cash for financial transactions, pocket money is not something that I've ever really bothered with.  The children know that if there is anything they want or need, I will buy it.  Clothing, sweets, magazines, books, music, DVDs and other things on their wishlists have been purchased for them, at a rate that costs me about the same as if I were parting with cash every week.  Thankfully, my kids are not too demanding and they don't have designer tastes, so this system has always worked fine for me.

Kizzy, however,  is the sort of child that enjoys list making, scheduling, organising and generally future planning.  So, although she is grateful for everything we buy for her, she has always hankered for her own financial independence.  She would rather have some cash earmarked for her that she can use to budget for her next wishlist purchase.  Paying money into the bank account that she has had since birth is fine to build her a nest egg for her future, but would not work as an alternative to paying her weekly cash amounts.  To access the cash means a 20 minute car journey to our nearest bank!  That just equals more hassle for me!

Roosterbank is a new online website that is re-inventing pocket money for the 21st century.  Parents like me, who favour online transactions, can keep kids like Kizzy, who wish for some control over their finances, happy!  The site allows children to manage their money, learn about money matters and have fun whilst doing it.  Sounds good!

Roosterbank have invited Kizzy and I to test out the site for a month to see how we get on.  As a parent I can 'pay' cash into Kizzy's online account on a weekly or ad hoc basis.  It is not a bank account, and no real money is deposited, it is instead a virtual savings account for Kizzy, containing pocket money that I promise to honour.

There is an online shop that has thousands of products that children can save up for.  Once the money in their account has built up, these can be ordered directly via the parents and delivered to the door.  The equivalent sum is then removed from the child's saving account.  It gives the child control over their finances and purchasing decisions, helping them learn important lessons about money...they can not order anything until they have enough money saved up!

In addition to the educational benefits of learning about money and good spending habits, Roosterbank has a safe online community where kids can play, learn and chat.  There are games which are fun but at the same time can involve maths, counting or money skills.  Children can earn Roosties which is a virtual currency that can be used to buy things in the village for their virtual farm.   Kizzy has already played some games and is building herself a farm using her currency.  She loves the fact that she can polish up her maths skills whilst playing games!  She has picked something from the shop that she wants to save up for and I have set up her pocket money to be paid in every week.

The children have their own dashboard and parents have their own area where they can oversee their child's activity, set up pocket money payments, pay in money to their account for odd jobs etc. and check out purchase requests.

We'll be reporting back throughout the month to let you know how we are finding the experience of Roosterbank!

Take a look at for more information and to sign up.


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