Ollie explains why it’s never too early to learn money management

Although she’s only five, Ollie Banks doesn’t think his daughter Alice is too young to start learning about coins and money management, so he starts an impromptu lesson on the lounge carpet…

Ollie and his daughter Alice lay face down on the lounge carpet. In front of them was a pile of coins, which they were sorting through as he explained to her what each one was.

“Been poking about down the back of the sofa again, Ollie?,” his wife Lizzie wanted to know as she came into the room, their son Jack sitting on her hip.

Ollie shook his head. “There wouldn’t have been this much change down there, unless it had fallen out of Grandad’s trouser pocket again. No, we’re just talking about money, and understanding coins. I thought it would be a good lesson for Alice,” he explained.

Lizzie wasn’t so sure. “She’s five. She won’t be able to take so much in.”

As if to confound her mother, Alice piped up: “This little silvery one is the same as five of these brown ones,” she said, pointing to two of the coins, and earning congratulations from Ollie for getting it right.

“Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, Lizzie. You see, she is taking some of it in. I don’t expect her to be able to work out compound interest or understand a bank statement, obviously, but it will come eventually.

Why an expense management system is important
“I look at it like this: a lot of misery is caused in the world because too many people don’t have enough money, and the ones that do have it don’t know how to manage it properly. By making Alice familiar with it now, I wanted to be sure that as she grows up she’ll become a better expense manager, and good at money management.”

Lizzie nodded. “You’re right. So many people aren’t good with money. I know we weren’t until you converted us to using the Solo Expenses expense tracker app.”

“Hang on; what do you mean by ‘us’? I was convinced of the power of that little expense manager app the moment I saw it; it was you that needed convincing, as I recall.”

She nodded again. “You’ve got me there, Banks. It was your idea, and I’m really glad you had it. It’s helped us control our family spending, so paying for this little chap was a bit easier than it might have been, hasn’t it Jack?”

Versatile expense tracker app
Ollie pushed home his advantage. “It has. And because it’s so versatile, we’re both using it for work as well as home finance, and you’ve written about how to budget for school lunches for your Lizzie Banks On It website. The thing is, Solo Expenses can be so much more than expense tracking software as far as Alice is concerned. By the time she’s grown up everything will be done with an app of some sort.” He paused for a second, and added: “Come to think of it, it nearly all is already. Anyway, when Alice is a little older I’m going to teach her how to use Solo Expenses to do online expense management. I’ll give her pocket money, and she can buy what she wants and learn the value of money. It’ll be two lessons in one, because she’ll learn all the useful things you can do with a smartphone as well.”

He stared into the middle distance for a moment, and said: “It’s a shame the people at the top of the banking industry didn’t understand the value of real money to real people when they got greedy and caused the crisis in 2008. Trouble was, they weren’t using cloud based expense management software. If they had been, things might have been different. As it is, Lorna and Ron tell me they’re going to be poorer for the rest of their lives because of the way interest rates have gone. The return on their investment income is much smaller than it was, and they’re too old to make a difference now.”

Expense tracking software for life
Alice had been piling up the coins on the floor whilst her parents spoke. Now she picked up another coin, and asked what it was worth. Ollie looked down. “That’s not worth anything, Alice. It’s not a real coin. It’s for putting in the supermarket trolley when you haven’t got the right sort of real money.”

Lizzie smiled. “Still work in progress there, Banks, but it’s a worthwhile project. I’m proud of you for taking it on, and you’re right, it will help Alice in the long run. She’ll thank you when she’s older.”

“I knew I was right. While you’re on your feet, pop the kettle on for a cup of tea, and perhaps you might find a biscuit or two for your financial team, ” he said with a wink.

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