goHenry and financial education
I am very open with my children about money. They know how much things cost, they understand when times are a bit tight with money and they know when we have money to spend on nice things like holidays. They know that mummy and daddy are working hard to earn as much as possible, saving cash to repay some money we owe. They also know the value of things, they know how much the mortgage costs and how much work its takes to pay for the mortgage. I really think we as a nation of parents should be open and discuss these things with our children.
Let us have our children growing up knowing that money must be earned which then pays for the house, the food, the after-school clubs, the football boots. I don’t want them thinking they can have whatever they ask for and there is unlimited pot of money. Because there isn’t.
Consequentially, I am supportive of any tools that will help the boys to understand the value of money. The goHenry pre-payment card was mentioned to me last year. There was a Facebook debate on Mrs Mummypenny about amount of pocket money, yes or no to pocket money, is it dependant on chores. I turned it into a post here. A couple of people mentioned the Go-Henry card.
What is goHenry?
It is a pre-payment card that is suitable for children of Josh’s age and over. Josh is 7 and he is quite comfortable with money and the value of things. Judge your own child and their acceptance of the value of money. According to Cambridge university children form their money habits and beliefs from the age of 7 so it is a good age to start.
You set up a parent account where a balance of money sits, then add your children’s accounts. I set up one for Dylan and one for Josh and set up a weekly transfer of £5 per week into their accounts. The pre-payment cards can be used at the cash machine to withdraw cash, used in shops via chip and pin to pay for things.
You can transfer in a one-off chunk of money and drip feed in weekly pocket money. And you can set up other people, family members to transfer money in as well.
The website and the app are simple to use and track your children’s spending and if you do have any queries the customer service team are friendly and helpful. I was struggling to get any cash out at the cash machine and couldn’t work out the pin number, I called goHenry and everything was resolved within 5 minutes.
What I like
- The control that it gives you over pocket money and money given to your children. In the past, the boy’s grandparents transfer money to the boys by using my bank account and the money ends up lost in my account.
- The boys love having their own pre-payment card and feel really grown up. They chose a football designed card, a nice feature.
- The website and app are both easy to use and understand.
- From a financial education point of view, it’s such a fabulous concept. Just the act of using a card to pay for football boots or sports clothes (as we have done) is such an important concept for the boys to learn. Mummy I have £50 on my gohenry card, and I want to buy a fidget spinner for £15. Okay Josh if that’s what you want. Do you have enough money? And how much will you have left?
- It’s a great mathematical educational tool to help with the value of products and basic addition and subtraction. Perfect for thinking about money building up, saving for the future or the consequences of spending all your money.
What I don’t like
- The customisable cards are £5 each. That felt like a big cost for a bit of plastic and I assumed it would be free, until £10 was taken off my balance.
- The monthly fees are £2.50 per card, so it would cost me £5 each month. As a person used to free business banking I don’t like this charge.
- There is no interest payable on credit balances. I understand that my current account also pays me no interest though!
- There was some initial confusion with the boys calling it a credit card. This term is so commonly used, so I found myself correcting them a lot. I want them growing up understanding that credit card is money you are borrowing from someone else that has to be paid back.
Overall I really love the concept and what it stands for as a financial education tool. I can see it being an essential tool when the boys are at secondary school where they will have money for lunch/getting the bus or train. It’s a great tool for times when your child is being independent.
Dylan 9, is off to Germany at the beginning of June on football tour with his Cambridge United Academy Football team, no parents allowed. He is to take 30 Euros for spending money and he will take his goHenry card to use in the airport and to spend his 30 Euros. The card works in the EU.
There is a free trial goHenry offer available so you can try it out for 30 days. If it’s not right for you then you can walk away. I will get a small referral fee if you did decide to sign up.