In October last year, I was invited by Experian and Sarah Willingham to Bristol to have a look at the new Jangle App to teach children money skills. I was very excited to be asked to this preview – where my feedback, alon with other bloggers, would be used to tweak the app before launch. I think it is incredibly important to teach children money skills from an early age, so hopefully they will carry them through their lives.
I am not alone in my thinking:
Some interesting statistics
- Many adult money habits are set from the age of seven (Cambridge University/Money Advice Service (MAS) Research 2013)
- There is no statutory provision for financial education across UK primary schools (PFEG)
- Pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group part of Young Enterprise) have found that, on average, children begin to receive pocket money aged seven, own their first mobile phone at eight, and purchase items online at 10, with one in five having used their parents’ or older siblings’ credit or debit card to purchase these items.
- Children can open a bank account and have a debit card at 11. At 18 they can apply for a credit card or loan, and before they leave school they have to make crucial decisions about jobs, student loans, and living independently.
Now more than ever, parents need to be able to talk to their children about how to manage money well but they may not find it easy:
- Parents of young children are less likely than the average population to feel like they are good at managing their money (Experian Consumer Affairs TNT Research April 2015)
- “Rather than waiting until their son or daughter has ‘earned’ the privilege of being treated to something new, six in ten parents admit they buy their children the latest trends and collectables as soon as they ask for them” Skipton Building Society Research 2012
How do children learn?
- They learn from experience which is always more powerful than learning through instruction.
- Participating in “adult” activities with a parent helps to provide a sense of mastery.
- Through day to day activities being turned into learning experiences.
I was excited about the app, but also super excited to be meeting, and having lunch with someone I honestly admire greatly, Sarah Willingham. You will probably have seen her on TV in ‘Cooks to Market’ or ‘Dragons Den’ two of my favourite shows featuring real businesses. Sarah is working with Experian and PFEG on the Jangle App.
The Jangle App is a free App currently available in the Apple Store for the iPad, but will be available for android in April.
The App can be set up for your child(ren) to create a pot to save for a particular item, with full access and control from you. They can set up more than one pot. They add what they are saving for, and how much it is. They create their profile, then a parent profile.
The child then chooses a task from many, which results in them receiving money. An example is to de clutter – or get rid of something. The task asks for an amount, and who will promise the amount, and when the task is complete, the ‘money’ is added to the chosen pot. A parent has to approve the task chosen, the amount promised and the task completion.
It is a really great way to encourage children to save – by doing something. By seeing their pot grow in the app, they quickly realise that they can reach their goal by completing tasks. You, as a parent control and approve it all.
I personally think the Jangle App is a great way to teach children money skills, and highly recommend it.