Wednesday 19 December 2012

The #pktmnyparents experience - so what have we learnt?

As I told you a few weeks ago, we've been trialling the PKTMNY website - you can read our initial feedback here. If you missed that blogpost and don't know what I'm on about, PKTMNY is basically an online management tool that enables you to take all the hassle out of paying your kids' pocket money, as well as giving your kids greater responsibility for their cash by allowing them to spend it online and in the high street shops or even withdraw it from a cashpoint using a rather funky and very grown-up looking bank card (that has spending limits and restrictions set by parents so they can't spend too much or buy unsuitable things).

Well, we've been using the site and all the features for several weeks now so I thought I'd give you an update about any changes that we've noticed here at The Madhouse. Well, there are actually several.

First of all, Sophie is really proud to see her savings building up. When it was real money in her piggy bank, she never bothered to get it out and count it so she never really had any idea of how much was in there, let alone what it represented. Now that she can see exactly how much she has each week with a simple click, she loves going to have a look at her balance. She has also put a few items on her wishlist so she can see how close she is to being able to afford them. What with emails, texts and google search, modern kids are used to instant gratification so getting used to waiting for things has actually been a bit of a novelty for Sophie and she loves seeing her targets getting ever closer.

Another rather surprising change (and one that I'm extremely happy about !) is that the house, and in particular Sophie's room, is much cleaner and tidier ! We sat down together and set a couple of tasks that she can do to earn some extra cash - I agreed to give her an extra £2 if she hoovered her bedroom and the living room, which she has been doing without me even needing to ask her now ! She also came up with some extra tasks of her own - £1 for sorting out the washing basket, 50p for doing the washing up and 50p for running errands, such as going to the post box on the corner or popping to the Lidl across the road for odds and ends I need around the house. I had to cap the total amount of chores she could accumulate per week or I'd have gone bankrupt, but it's so nice for her to be enthusiastic about helping more around the house. (To be fair to her, she already did quite a lot, but keeping her room tidy was always a source of nagging !)

Sophie is also incredibly proud to have been able to buy a gift for me for Christmas in an online store without me knowing what it is. Usually she needs me to give her access to my paypal account or use my bank card for her, but (accompanied by Madhouse Daddy Mike in case there was a problem) she proudly made her first ever purchase online ! I can't tell you what it is yet because it's in pride of place under the tree but Sophie is incredibly chuffed and feels very grown up. She's also said she's looking forward to going to the sales with her own money and bank card, so that we can have a proper grown-up girlie shopping spree together ! 

It's certainly made her become much more grown up in the way she thinks about using and saving her money. It was also a great way of explaining how important it is to keep pin numbers secret so that other people can't use her money. Another very important life lesson learned.

This post is part of a project with BritMums, sponsored by PKTMNY, highlighting its launch. The new tool allows parents to easily pay and monitor their children's pocket money online, whilst allowing their children to earn, save, spend and manage their money in a totally safe and fun way. 

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Is pocket money a headache in your house? #pktmnyparents

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