Those of you who know me well will know that I have loved Starling bank for many years. I cannot speak highly enough about them, and when I moved my own business (and personal, actually!) finances to Starling it literally transformed my life.
If you are in our community would have heard me talk about this a lot. In my late 20s, I was in a position where I was literally in a lot of debt. For me, I had to draw that line in the sand. I remember closing my bank account with my current bank and opening a Starling account, drawing that line in the sand.
It was a great opportunity for me to just get rid of all the shame that I was attaching to having debt, and once I did that, I was able to start again with a fresh slate. This is when I started implementing some of my golden rules around creating a spending plan and giving every pound a purpose. I organised money to go off to my previous bank account, and I then paid off my overdraft bit by bit.
What I loved about the Starling account was how visual and motivating it was to have those pots. And with my children we talk a lot about money at home. We do it in a really fun way – we play Monopoly, and we just use everyday things that come up to have really open conversations with them about money. And my boys absolutely love their Starling Kite cards. Even my Ops manager says the move to Starling is the best financial decision that she’s ever made! So it goes without saying that working alongside Starling bank as a sponsor for the podcast is an absolute privilege and the perfect fit for you reading.
I’ve talked a lot before about how we teach our boys about money and the principles of needs versus wants. But I thought we’d mix things up a little bit! You’ve heard from me about this topic before, so I thought why not hear about it from somebody else’s point of view?
So without further ado, I would absolutely love to welcome Thomas on to the In Her Financial Shoes podcast.
So little Thomas, welcome to the In Her Financial Shoes podcast.
How old are you?
No way! When did you turn 8?
A few days ago.
What did you do for your birthday?
We went to Pizza Express for dinner, we went in the sea for a swim at nine o’clock. And we went to the arcade. And we spent the morning together.
That sounds like a wicked day! So today on the podcast, we’re talking about Starling and their Kites account for kids. So I thought we could talk to our listeners today and their children about our money pots. What do you think?
Great. So tell our listeners, Thomas, about our money pots. How many pots do you have?
I have four pots.
And what are those four pots?
Saving, spending, investing, and giving.
Ah, okay, so tell us a little bit about the investing pot. What does that mean?
Investing is giving money to other companies to make the company bigger and to make more money to share with the world.
Love it! What kind of companies?
Disney, Pizza Express…
We like Pizza Express don’t we? We should definitely buy shares in Pizza Express! And what about your saving pot?
Saving is my normal pot and I put loads of money in it. You save it up and if you want to buy like new toy, but you don’t have enough money, you get a pot and every time you get a little bit of money you can put it in a little pot that has a little note that says ‘Saving’ on it. Once you’ve got enough money, you can break it or take it all out and then go buy it.
And what are you saving for at the moment?
I’m not trying to save really, but I’m trying to get to £1000 so I can do something with it.
What do you think you’ll do with it when you get to £1000?
Not sure. Maybe spend some of it on new books.
Love it. What about your giving pot? Tell us about your giving pot.
The giving pot is all about giving to charities and people who are poor a bit of money, so at least they can buy a drink or maybe a little phone or something.
That’s nice. That reminds me, on the podcast Thomas last year, we were talking about something called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And what he said is that every person on the planet needs to have their basic needs met and their psychological needs met. So their clothes, their food, their shelter over their heads. So that’s what we give for, don’t we? And are there any particular charities that we support?
Daddy ran for a meningitis charity.
And why do we support meningitis charities?
Because I had it when I was younger.
You did, didn’t you when you were five weeks.
Five weeks, and three days.
You did. And now look at your bright happy smiley face. And then what about your spending pot? What kind of things would you spend money on?
Spending is the worst of them!
Is it?! (Oooh, money block there!)
Yes. If you keep spending all your money, it’s kind of a waste because if you keep spending over and over again you’ll lose a lot of money and you might not be able to pay like your taxes. You might not be able to pay for a new house if you need to move.
I see. So that’s interesting. You’re a real saver, aren’t you?
Yeah, but George likes spending!
He does. I think we’ll try and get George on the podcast as well at some point. So when we’re spending, how do we know whether we should be spending? What do we talk about at home?
Needs and wants.
Needs and wants! What is a need?
A need is like you really really want it and need it, and a want is like you want it but not as much as you need it.
Okay, that sounds like a bit of a tongue tie! Give us an example of something that would be a need and not a want.
A need would be like something you need to live like shoes and clothes. And a house.
Yeah, everyone needs a house day or somewhere they can live. And give me an example of something that’s a want.
A want is like if you want to toy. You can live without a toy. You don’t need a toy. You want a toy.
So when we go shopping and you see something that you like, does it go on the want list or the need list?
What about George? Does it go on his want list or his needs list?!
We talk about this in the house – what’s the saying that we say? You and George are like…
Chalk and cheese!
They literally are chalk and cheese. Everything that George does, Thomas does the opposite. Everything that Thomas does, George does the opposite!
So thank you for that, Thomas, that was really useful. Because sometimes people struggle when they’re spending with, do I really need this? Do I really want this? And then emotion takes over, and we’re like, oh, I just really have to have this. Like George at the moment is really, really desperate for a phone, isn’t he, when he goes to secondary school?
He said if he behaves like really well, you’ll get him a phone.
Yeah, I promised George when he goes to secondary school that he can have a phone, didn’t I? Yeah, so when he’s on the school bus if he needs picking up, he can message us.
So final couple of questions, Thomas. If you had to give one tip about money for any kids that are reading this, what would it be? I’m putting you on the spot here!
It would be… The best thing to do with your money is to save it. Unless there’s something you really need to do.
Love it. And where do you save your money?
In my bank.
And which bank do you put that into?
What do we love about Starling?
It gives you like, does it give you free money?
Well, it does because it gives you interest.
Yeah. Anything else that you love about Starling?
It’s a money conversation bank that you can take money out and spend it.
And when you get pocket money, and you’ve got to move it from my account into your account. How do we do that?
You do a transfer. Press transfer money, type in how much, and it will transfer into your bank.
We do it on our little app don’t we? It’s very cool, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s very cool.
So Thomas, one of your birthday presents that you got this year was a joke book. Do you want to finish by telling us a money joke?
How does a group of dolphins decide on something?
I don’t know. How does a group of dolphins decide on something.
I love that! And any final words you want to share today, Thomas? You’ve been super duper!
Another joke. What fish costs the most?
I don’t know what fish costs the most?
Of course, a goldfish!
Well, thank you, Thomas, so much for coming on the podcast today. You’ve been super duper duper. And we’ll see you again soon.
So thank you so much, Thomas. There have been some amazing tips in there for our readers. And it’s safe to say that we love Starling bank as a family.
Both boys actually used to use Rooster Money before their Starling Kite cards, which is fabulous. I love Rooster Money. But as soon as we heard that Starling were releasing Kite in September 2020, we just knew that we had to try it out. And I can honestly say we wouldn’t go back.
Benefits and features of using Starling Kite.
What I love about it is that we can set regular transfers to their cards from our own Starling bank app. They can see their own money and they can see their pots in the Starling bank app. There’s no switching between apps, everything’s all in one place. And it’s super safe because I can set spending limits on where they can and can’t spend their money. I can also lock the cards at literally the hit of a button in case it gets lost. So there’s lots of safety and security measures in there.
It’s also great for the planet, which I love. As a branchless paperless bank that runs mainly on renewable energy, they are greener bank for a greener generation. Plus, one of the things that Starling does which I really love is that they plant trees every time you refer a friend to Starling. I love this because it really helps us to encourage talking about another one of our big family values with the boys, which is all about giving, which you just heard Thomas talking about there.
To get a credit card for your child, the first thing you need to do is have a parent account.
Managing Money Pots with Starling Kite
So this is what I do with my personal banking and my business banking. I have a sole account and I have a joint account with my husband. The joint account is where all our bills come from, and we pay a certain amount in each month. And then our personal accounts are for our own personal savings and spending.
Within the personal account, I have my little pots set up. I’ve got my giving back to myself pot, I have my Necker Island pot for a trip that I’m going on next year for business. I’ve got things like my dentist pot, I’ve got a Christmas pot, and I have a dog pot in my Starling account as well. I also have a house decorating pot, because that’s the kind of thing that often comes up where if you haven’t put money aside, that’s the kind of thing that can blow your budget, or you end up putting it on credit cards.
So we have a parent account, and the children’s Kite cards are available for children that are aged 6 to 16. If they’re older than 16, then you can check out the Starling teen account. The cost of the card is £2 per month. As I mentioned, both my boys had Rooster Money cards before switching to Starling and we’ve actually completed a full comparison of all the leading cards and accounts for children and teens. I’d really recommend that you go and check out that particular article for a full comparison and break down of the options. For me, Starling Kite comes out on top for several things.
- Lowest monthly cost is one of them.
- It’s just so easy just to have it all in one place.
- The functionality of pots. Going back to our golden rule of giving every pound a purpose, it really encourages psychologically to put money aside for specific purposes.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little whistle stop tour around the Kite card for kids. If you want to find out more about Starling, we also wrote an article with a full comparison of some of the online digital challenger banks, Starling and Monzo.
I think it’s really important for you to understand the differences between some of the banks so that you make a really good decision for yourself about whether this is the right account for you. As I said, we absolutely love it as a family, and I know many of you who’ve been following us for a while have Starling accounts already. But if you don’t yet and want to go and check out our detailed comparison of Starling VS Monzo, we have made it super comprehensive for you.
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