As we roll into October and days become colder, the familiar feeling of British winter starts to make its presence known. Fear not friends, it’s a Friday and we’ll all soon be enjoying weekend ahead. It’s a great time to unwind, get out the board games and while you’re at it, why not catch up on the latest news in children’s finance.
The media this week has been discussing the problem of ‘free online games’ taking advantage of children in an attempt to make large profits on extra features. These ‘free games’ seem innocent enough, but it’s only when parents receive the bill and their jaws drop that the truth is revealed. Reports suggest that some children have racked up bills in the thousands… Yes, we’re as appalled as you. Although maybe not as much as Lee Neale, whose 8 year old daughter unintentionally accumulated a bill of over £4,000 to unlock levels, receive enhancements, and top up rewards. We really feel for Mr Neale who wasn’t prepared for the, quite frankly, ridiculous bill. The OFT (Office of Fair Trading) has found that many free games use “potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices,” and has issued a warning to parents to prevent others falling into the same trap as Mr Neale.
Could your children be paying tax unknowingly? The Daily Telegraph suggests that children are being deprived of an estimated £15m a year by the red tape that surrounds their savings.
You may know children can earn up to £100 a year tax-free. What you may not know is children can also earn interest, before tax, if the parents fill out the elusive “R85” form. It just goes to show how complex the system can be. Many parents and children are unaware of these rising taxes on their accounts and although it may seem insignificant in the short term, the long-term amount is worth thinking about.
Though many of us remember our Fresher’s experience very fondly, we don’t often acknowledge the significance of the week as the first time the children venture away from the nest. The Independent started a great discussion this week about ways students can save money during Fresher’s Week.
Some simple suggestions include setting a weekly budget, taking cash out rather than card, and doing communal shops. Though these suggestions seem simple enough, many students struggle when they first go off to University. We can all remember how exciting it was to leave home for the first time and in all the excitement, it's easy for a young person to lose all sense of what they're spending.
We wanted to post this because it's a great example of why it's so important for young people to begin their journey towards better money skills earlier in life, before they suddenly have to deal what is, in most cases now, a serious amount of money. Building healthy money habits that last is really important to us, it's what we get up every morning to do and it seems a fitting way to sign of for the week.
That’s all folks – enjoy the weekend.