Pros and cons of gohenry

When talking to parents about savings and teaching their kids about money, a lot of people mention gohenry.


For those that don’t know, gohenry is an app and spending card for kids (aged between 6 and 18). It allows parents to put money on a pre-paid VISA card for their kids. The app allows parents to see where the money is being spent and allows kids to see how much they have spent and saved.


It’s designed to help teach kids about spending whilst also ensuring there are sufficient controls to give parents peace of mind about what and how their kids are using their money.


The card can be used to spend money in shops and online (with some exclusions based on a parent’s choice) and can be used to withdraw cash from an ATM. It can be used overseas but additional charges apply.


Pros and cons of gohenry


Pros:

Lots of parental controls compared to a standard child’s bank account:

  • Set limits on how much kids can spend over time

  • Restricts the places they are allowed to spend the money

  • It automatically restricts payments in non-age appropriate places like betting shops and adult websites.


Digital pocket money:

  • Pocket money is the most underrated financial education tool there is. Using goHenry allows you to give pocket money digitally.

  • You can set tasks before the money is transferred to their account, e.g. require them to clean their room and do some hoovering.


Family members can add money to a kid’s account:

  • Rather than giving them cash or vouchers they can transfer money online to your kids.


Kids get to form good money habits:

  • It helps your kids form habits such as budgeting and delayed gratification.


Cons:

It’s not cheap:

  • £2.99 per child a month after the first month:

  • Given the average amount of pocket money kids get a month, £2.99 might be more appreciated if it was just given directly to kids to put in a money box

  • There is also additional fees for a personalised card, £4.99

  • If you want to top up the amount in the account more than once a month it costs more (50p per extra top up).


No interest paid on the money held:

  • Compared to some children’s bank accounts which come with a debit card, e.g. HSBC, this does not help your kids learn to grow their money.


Less protection than a bank account:

  • Whilst it has protections to ensure the money on the card is segregated, it’s not a bank and therefore doesn’t have all the deposit protections that a bank does.


My view


I like the concept. I'm a big fan of parents giving their kids pocket money as it can be used to teach so many good money habits. I have a strong preference for pocket money to be given in physical money but appreciate that is becoming more challenging as we move to a cashless world. Therefore apps like this are the future of pocket money.


gohenry is a super way to help your kids learn one of the three essential money habits I believe parents should teach their kids. That habit is 'get your kids to save up for something they want'. The app makes it really easy to do this and they check their progress via the 'savings goals'.


It does help in part with another essential money habit which is 'record what money you have'. However, it only records the amount held by gohenry and as it updates automatically it means that kids might not focus on the amount. The full habit is to manually record their money once a month and include all the places they have money.


I feel it is expensive at £2.99 per month per child for a spending card. Using cash and free apps like RoosterMoney or Pigzbe could be used to form similar habits and allow you to give your kids an extra £2.99 per month to save or spend.


That being said, I believe the level of engagement people are having with gohenry is great and I encourage parents who view creating good financial habits as a priority.


The VISA card means that a lot of focus is on using gohenry to spend money. Whilst spending sensibly is something kids need to learn, I would prefer that it wasn’t so easy for them to spend money.


One of the three essential money habits I believe we need to teach our kids is how to put money away so it can grow. At the moment this isn't really a feature of gohenry. It would be great if there was an option for them to easily transfer money to a high-interest account or an investment account so they can learn the essential lesson of making money grow.


I would therefore recommend that gohenry is a complement to an existing savings or investment rather than being your only kids savings account.


If your kids already have a savings or investment account, and you are happy spend £2.99 per month, then gohenry is a very neat tool to help support learning good spending habits.


Link to their website: gohenry


Similar products:


There are similar pre-paid cards for kids available in the market. These have different apps and costs. These include:


A full review on these will be coming shortly so make sure you subscribe so you don't miss them.


For those parents who want to help their kids grow the money they save, there is the Blue Tree Sharing Tool. This tool allows parents to share their existing investment account with their kids, allowing them to start growing even the smallest amount of money they save.


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