Don’t let Pikachu shock your child’s wallet

With the Pokemon Go sweeping the nation not so long ago, nearly every child, teenager and parent were out trying to catch them. We agree the game may have had a beneficial increase on our health by getting us off the sofa and outside exploring, but was the effect on our wallets? We caught up with Guest Blogger Clint Wilson to find out the true impact that tech crazes can have on family spending….

“As society becomes increasingly cashless, paying for things becomes easier and easier. With the swipe or tap of a card, or the click of a mouse, contactless payments and ecommerce have made paying for things quick, simple and painless. Well, relatively painless.

Whilst cashless payments make life easier for parents, for our children, they make understanding the value of money much harder. We recently surveyed 6,000 parents and found that 7 in 10 felt that children understand the value of money less well than they did when they were young. Two-thirds believe that digital money is partly to blame.

It’s easy to see why. When we were young we knew how much money we had with a quick jangle of our pocket! These days, as online and card spending increases, it’s possible for children to spend without ever actually handing over any cash.

A friend of mine learned this the hard way. In the space of one afternoon, her son managed to spend more than £170 on in-app purchases on a game on his dad’s iPad. Each new character could be bought with a single tap that cost £1.50. While the son knew each tap cost him money, because he wasn’t handing over cash he quickly lost track of how many times he’d tapped and how much he’d spent. Needless to say, his dad wasn’t happy when he opened that month’s bank statement!

With the introduction of a monetised element in Pokémon GO, allowing players to spend £3.99 on 500 pokecoins, there is a risk that this experience will be repeated by children across the country. Children might know how many combat points a Squirtle would fetch, but do they know what else the £3.99 used to catch him could get them?

Thankfully, there are a number of simple, practical things you can do to help ensure that your children develop an understanding of the value of money…..

Stay tuned for next weeks top tips from Clint Wilson on how your child can develop a better understanding of money.

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