How to teach your children about money

According to the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG), over half of British teenagers have been in debt by the time they are seventeen. There are plenty of things you can do now to make sure their finances don’t go off the rails the second that they control their own cash.

1. Give them pocket money. The average weekly pocket money received by children is £6.32. This teaches them about budgeting – as long as you don’t bail them out every time their pocket money runs out.

2. Encourage your Children to save, they can have a bank account from the age of seven, and some children’s regular savers are suitable up to 18.  If you are encouraging your children in the savings habit, you could even offer to match their savings as they put funds away for big ticket items. Make sure you fill in an R85 form so that tax is not automatically deducted from their savings.

3. Explain the different types of borrowing. If you are applying for financial products, explain to your children how they work. The sooner they understand how interest racks up if you only pay the minimum payment on a credit card, for example, the better it will be. Tell them about store card offers when you are offered them when out shopping and explain the huge %age pitfalls that come with an attractive first-purchase discount.

4. Show them how to shop around internet sites are a great place to teach teenagers about money. If you shop online for groceries, show them how to use MySupermarket to check where the cheapest deals are.

Junior Isas

Junior ISA’s…ISA’s for Children

Junior IsasJunior ISAs are expected to be the new tax-free savings and investment accounts for children. Expected to launch in late-2011, Junior ISAs will replace Child Trust Funds. If you’re interested in saving for a child’s future, they could be a great option when they become available.

What is a Junior ISA?

The Junior ISA is a new tax efficient account designed for adults to save and invest on behalf of children.

Who is eligible for a Junior ISA?

Any child resident in the UK who wasn’t eligible for a Child Trust Fund (CTF):

  • Children born on or after 3rd January 2011
  • Under 18’s born before September 2002

Any child born between 1st September 2002 and 3rd January 2011 that didn’t qualify for a Child Trust Fund will also be eligible for a Junior ISA.

The Family Investments Junior ISA will only be available to children under the age of 16, who didn’t qualify for a CTF.

What are the main features of the Junior ISA?

  • The child enjoys an initial limit of £3,600 per year across both types of account
  • Proceeds of the account are held in the child’s name
  • Tax efficient like an adult ISA
  • Money in the account cannot be withdrawn by the parents as it is designed for the child’s future
  • The parent manages the account on the behalf of a child
  • At age 18 the account is converted into an adult ISA and the young adult can access their funds.

Are there different types of Junior ISA accounts available?

Yes. Like adult ISAs, there are two different types of Junior ISA:

  • A cash Junior ISA – which will earn interest like a savings account from a bank or building society
  • A stocks and shares Junior ISA – which will invest in stocks and shares

You can take out both a cash Junior ISA and a stocks and shares Junior ISA, with different providers (or the same provider if they offer different products), at the same time if you choose.

Child Trust Funds

The Child Trust Fund (CTF) is a long-term tax-free savings account for children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011. Find out below if your child will receive one.

The previous Governmemnt included all new born children in the Child Trust Fund, however, the new coalition government has included a number of eligiblity criteria: 

Your child is entitled to an account if all of the following apply:

  • your child was born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011
  • you were paid Child Benefit for that child for at least one day before 4 January 2011
  • your child lives in the UK
  • your child is not subject to any immigration restriction

Your child could be subject to an immigration restriction if they were born outside of the European Union (including on a military base) to non-British parents.

If you haven’t already made your claim for Child Benefit, don’t delay. Your claim can only be backdated by up to 3 months.

How the CTF works

For each child that is entitled to a CTF account, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will usually send you a voucher. You use this to open the account in your child’s name.

The voucher could be worth £50 or £250 depending on when your child was born and when they became entitled to an account.   The money in the CTF account belongs to the child but can’t be taken out until they are 18.  Parents, family and friends can add money to the account up to a limit of £1,200 a year.

You can get extra money paid directly into the account. For example if you’re on a low income or your child gets Disability Living Allowance.

Once you’ve got the voucher, you can take it to an approved Bank, Building Society or other Financial Services provider who will open the account.

Halloween on a budget

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on Halloween Decorations why not take a look at these Lovely Halloween Printables. Free to download and great fun to make.

We found these great printables along with some fab halloween Recipes over at like this bloody and ghoulish punch.  It is an American site but has lots of money saving ideas for a great Halloween.

Bloody punch

  • 3 cups (500 mL) cranberry juice
  • 1-1/2 cups (250 mL) apple juice
  • 1-1/2 cups (250 mL) grape juice
  • 2 cups (500 mL) caffeine-free cola
  • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen strawberries
  1. In a large punch bowl, combine the cranberry juice, apple juice and grape juice. Stir, then refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. At the last possible moment, add the cola, the strawberries and, of course, the Floating Hand of Death (directions below).

Floating Hand

  1. In a measuring cup or jar, stir a few drops of green food coloring into some water — not too much, just enough to give it a slightly decomposed tint. Pour the greenish water into a disposable rubber glove (the stretchy kind — make sure it’s not powder-coated inside) and tie the top securely. Place in the freezer for several hours or overnight. At serving time, peel the glove off the hand and deposit icy hand in chilled punch. Yum.

Bargain Baby Supplies

Its time again for one of Asda’s Baby and Toddler Events – these popular events bring together some great savings for mums.
The event runs in store and online from the 19th Jan – 6th Feb 2010 but is usually repeated later in the year.

Some of the best buys include:

Johnson’s baby toiletries from only £1 each, Nappies from £8.00 f0r a mega box and deals on baby wipes.  There are some great deals on baby essential buys such as a microwave bottle steriliser, car seats and dummies.  There are even potties for toilet training at only £1 so you can buy one for each bathroom and an extra for grandmas too !