I thought the first blog post that we did should be to introduce our family. My name is Joe and I am married to Emma and we have two children called Isaac and Jonathan.
In the early part of our marriage we weren't particularly good with finances, using credit cards to constantly meet the shortfall in our monthly expenses.
We mainly struggled because we operated without a budget or any controls in place with regards spending. We definitely learned financial responsibility the hard way and it was a tough lesson to learn.
We would both love our kids to benefit from what we learned but without the pain. We also had little input from our parents with regards managing finances. We were both from relatively poor financial backgrounds and the answer to the question of "Can I have a.....?" Was quickly followed by the answer "no". There was plenty of love in both of our childhood homes, but there certainly wasn't plenty of money.
Being constantly told no was our parents way of letting us know that they didn't have the money to purchase what we wanted. They made the tough decisions for us. When you meet someone and get married or you move in together with someone, parents aren't usually there to make those tough financial decision for you. As the saying goes you have to stand on your own two feet. If you haven't learned financial responsibility for yourself, then it's easy to get into financial difficulty. Especially with the amount of cheap credit available.
Our parents did a brilliant job of raising both of us, but I don't remember being taught how to manage my finances by my parents. School also never provided much in the way of financial education either.
I see Go Henry as an enabler in helping me to teach my children how to be responsible with their finances. They will hopefully enter adulthood understanding how to budget, how much is in their account and how to save for the things that they need.
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My children are both still relatively young, but what is brilliant about Go Henry is that they can be given a very restrictive set of rules to operate within. The aim is that as they grow older the rules can become less restrictive until they are capable of managing their finances by themselves.
I work in technology for a living so I have a good understanding of technology that is currently in development. Very soon smartphones will have microchips in them that will enable us to purchase things just by waving our phone in front of a machine. This will be done without entering a pin number in the same way as contactless payments work at the moment.
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Sure it will only be for small transactions but what my years of financial mismanagement taught me was this, you remember the 3DTV that you purchased, that holiday to Vegas or New York using plastic. What is harder to remember though is those regular small transactions that all add up to a large overspend at the end of the month.
Whilst this technology is new to us, for our children this will be as normal as switching on the TV. My aim is to help and empower my children to be fully equipped to handle their finances and to appreciate the value of money in a contactless, convenient, cashless society.
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