Common Questions about the Habit Maker
Helping parents teach their kids to form amazing money habits!
1. "What are Seeds?"
Seeds = Cash
A simple way to help your kids learn about money is to get them to think of money as Seeds.
This means that every time they are given money they have some seeds to plant (save) or give away (spend).
In the tool your kids record any new seeds they are given (pocket money, birthday money or from the tooth fairy)). They simply press 'Plant New Seeds' They then get to choose what to do with those seeds (spend or save).
Any money they don't save (plant) is shown as Seeds on the front page and the choose to 'Plant Existing Seeds' or let the tool know these seeds have been spent later..
The seeds are either the cash your kids have in their money box or its an IOU from you to them.
If money is like a 'seed', saving is the act of planting the seed so it grows. Most people just store their seeds and never see them grow.
2. "What are Flowers?"
Saving towards a goal
A key money habit for your kids to learn is to save up for something they want (delayed gratification).
The tool allows your kids to set a goal and then see how they are progressing towards this goal as they save. This goal could be a new toy, a bike or maybe, a charitable donation.
Each time they receive money (seeds) they should be saving (plant) some towards their goal. This will be shown as Flowers.
The money allocated towards Flowers is either in their money box or its an IOU from you to them.
3. "What are Bushes?"
Saving for the long-term
This is money they are saving for the long-term. This money is not there to be spent. This money is there to show them that by regularly saving a little bit then those little bits soon add up (teaching them about building wealth).
This money is not held as cash. When they allocate Seeds (money) to Bushes then this is recorded as an IOU from you to them. You can then transfer this money to a bank or savings account as and when you are ready or the amount is large enough to be transferred. Just let the tool know when you have made this transfer by going to Bushes and then clicking on 'Details'.
Adding interest: A key lesson to teach your kids is that that money can grow if saved. Therefore make sure to update the balances to allow for any interest they earn. You can even choose to add some interest to the money held as an IOU. This can all be done in the 'Details' under Bushes.
Investing for the long-term!
To really help your kids build wealth then help them to invest some of their money. Investing is expected to to grow their money by a much larger amount than in a bank or savings account.
You can learn more about the basics of investing here
Like Bushes, any money they allocate to Blue Trees is held as an IOU until you are ready to transfer to their investment account. Just let the tool know when you have transferred the money. You can do this by going to 'Details' under Blue Trees.
Reconcile with the investment account: If you are not invested in one of the funds that is tracked by the Habit Maker, then you can reconcile the value of their investment with their investment account. Simply go to 'Details' under Blue Trees. Don't update too often though!
5. "How does the 'Habit Checker' work?"
Good habits will change their future
This is one of the most important elements of the tool. Their money habits will determine their financial future - therefore we want to check they are forming good ones!
The tool analyses the decisions they made based on the last 5 times they received money (Seeds). It looks to see if they are saving at least 10% for the long term (Bushes or Blue Trees) - this habit is essential for building wealth. It also checks if they are saving towards their goal (Flowers) - this habit is essential to help them learn to delay gratification which is so important when it comes to money.
Lastly, the tool checks that they are coming back to plant more seeds and see their forest grow. This is assessed by seeing if they (with your help) log onto the tool each week.
If they form these habits and continue them into adulthood then you'll be confident that your kids are more likely than not going to be financially secure!
6. "What is 'Finding Jo!?"
Game to help your kids learn
Jo is a Financial Superhero. By pressing 'Hide Jo' your kids will see Jo disappear from next to he button. They now have to search the tool to find him. There are over 10 different places he hides and these change each time.
They have to press the buttons which are white with a coloured border (Habit Checker, See their Forest, Seeds, Flowers, Bushes and Blue Trees (if set up)).
Once they find Jo, they need to click on him. They will then learn about what he is looking at. This helps them learn more about the tool in a fun way.
Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask