Lessons in money that won't be forgotten
As a parent, I reckon it's vitally important to help my children learn about managing money.
Today marks the start of Financial Capability Week, so I wanted to write about different ways to approach cash with your kids.
I can bang on about the importance of saving, when confronted with demands for Pokemon cards.
I can try to translate the price of a Lego Death Star into weeks of pocket money (most of a lifetime, frankly).
I can even attempt to bribe my offspring into doing jobs I don't want to do, but sadly the lawn is still covered with leaves.
Lectures on mortgages are never going to cut it with an eight-year-old, so I've stuck to the real priority: sweets.
My daughter can be pretty resistant to Maths homework.
However, when it comes to working out how to get the most sugar for the least money, she suddenly perks up. So goodbye healthy eating, and hello life lessons in hard cash.
We've already covered vital topics like:
- taking advantage of special offers (that would be the enormous bag of marshmallows, selling for only £1)
- looking out for multibuys (turns out three bags of Co-op sweets for £1 weigh way more than a £1 bag of Haribo)
- downshifting brands (the pack of four own brand ice cream cones that cost loads less than the Cornettos).
During the October Savings Challenge, my daugher and I headed off for a freebie cinema showing. I wasn't keen to hand stump up for gold-plated pick and mix in the cinema foyer, so we nipped into a corner shop to stock up on snacks beforehand.
Now, my daugher is pretty partial to a bit* of caramel chocolate.
*For a bit, subsitute "a truckload", funds and parental guilt permitting.
Anyway, it seemed like an ideal time to learn about money through the medium of chocolate, as we went on a mission to find the most Cadbury's Caramel for the least cash.
Do you have any idea how many types of Cadbury's Caramel it is possible to buy in one small shop?
Think the shaky pic is due to me exclaiming "how much?"
First of all, my daugher spotted some Cadbury's Heroes, which include "super cute" mini Caramel bars, apparently. I pointed out they'd have to be particularly cute when you only get 92g of chocolate for £1.69.
One big bar, one pound
Next we eyed up the massive bars of Cabury's Caramel, on offer at £1 for 120g. That was definitely more chocolate for less money than the Heroes.
Brand extension into biscuits. Nice.
However, there were also some Cadbury's Caramel biscuits on offer, where your £1 got you a heftier 130g.
Yet more Cadbury's Caramel for £1 - only this time more for your money!
In the end though, the winner was the four pack of small Cadbury's Caramel bars, where £1 bought 148g.
I always knew that it was important to check the price per unit when food shopping.
But wow, the difference depending on packaging was massive when it came to Cadbury's Caramel.
With a small bag of Cadbury's Heroes, £1 would only stretch to 54g of sweets.
Yet a four pack of Cadbury's Caramel on special offer meant we could get 148g of chocolate for £1 - nearly three times as much.
Despite the eye-rolling in the aisles, my daughter was glad to get more choc for her money.
And we enjoyed the film too.
What are your top tips for helping your children make the most of their pocket money? I'd love to hear!