I spent a long while, looking for bank accounts for my boys recently. They’ve had savings accounts for years, but I hadn’t realised that kids as young as 11, can have their own debit cards. In my head, I had that little milestone filed away for 16+. I got their new accounts with the RBS, and we just got on with it. They have apps on their phones which let them know how much money they have left, and they feel all warm and fuzzy, as the pseudo grown ups that such freedom brings.
I overheard a conversation at the table next to mine, when I was clacking away on my keys in our local coffee shop, having left the man in charge of the house while I got out for a while. Nobody knew I’d gone out for a solitary coffee fix, but hey, why should they!
Anyway, the conversation at the next table turned to wealth management. Having absolutely no idea what that meant, I started seriously lugging in on their chat about savings and current accounts for their kids.
From what I could gather, wealth management for regular kids is just posh speak for being in charge of their own accounts. In circles of people who have serious money, it will mean something entirely different, but calling sproggets pocket money ‘wealth management,’ is a bit OTT for me. I pretended to be laughing at something on my computer screen, as I did a very unladylike snort, but it did bring home some issues that have niggled at the back of my head for weeks.
A few months ago, I’d had one of mine complain about not having his own debit card to buy things online with, but as a principle, it’s something I still struggle with. As far as I knew, it wasn’t legal for someone under the age of 16, to actually get involved in buying online at all… Perhaps I’ve been living in the dark ages.
I still have not got to the bottom of it, but my youngest has a debit card now, and he’s bought and received goods he’s paid for online. I guess it does make a difference that most shopping accounts don’t ask for dates of birth, but whatever it is, I’m elated that kids can learn all about budgeting and paying for goods sensibly. On the other hand, it also fills me with complete horror. Just what on earth can they get access to when they can buy anything they want online……
Perhaps I’m worrying too much, but that would frighten the life out of me if I was a parent and had absolutely no idea what my kids were up to online. As it is, I nab the statements once they’re read them and I can research what they spend until they’re older.
I’m not too sure if I like them growing up nowadays. The world is a much scarier place than it was when I was their age.