Article by Gina Spampinato

Who says cash for Christmas is a cop-out?

Physical vs digital gift-giving

"We’re seeing an intriguing shift in how young people engage with and learn about money. This is especially true of Gen Alpha, who are growing up with so many new, digital finance tools that previous generations never had access to - from saving apps and spending cards to digital currencies.

"Times are clearly changing - and whilst cash still proves popular with kids, Robux and other gaming currencies are now more in demand than gift cards. And, as kids get older they’re shifting towards things like bank transfer as their preferred means of receiving money, as they get more financially confident.

"It’s understandable that for many parents physical cash still plays a vital role at Christmas. But what’s intriguing about their cash sensibilities is that there’s also a suggestion of digital overwhelm. 20% of parents say they find it harder to teach their kids about saving now that money is becoming more digital, and a further 23% think their child finds it easier to save physical money - highlighting a clear need for resources that make the digital world we’re hurtling towards more accessible.

"Parents want to give their children key life skills around money, and now in 2022, this means embracing both physical and digital financial tools when helping them get to grips with it all."

Iona Bain, author and award-winning financial writer

"With the range of digital options out there, the use of cash in our day-to-day lives is dropping and that means we need to continually evolve how we engage and manage money with our children. Cash does still play an important role - in fact over a quarter of parents say that they like to give cash at Christmas because of its tangibility.

"At the same time, digital forms of currency are taking on a crucial and growing role, with many parents saying these are not only easier to track, but can give kids more independence. Our Rooster Card and account is a great example of that, providing youngsters with a taste of autonomy and tools to help make digital money more tangible, whilst still retaining some visibility for their parents.

"But with 72% of families acknowledging Christmas as an important moment for kids to learn about money, it’s vital to recognise the role of both traditional and more modern currencies. We can’t predict how the format of money will continue to evolve in the future - so the point here is around choice, and giving people options depending on their age and context. The best thing we can do is have open conversations and engage with our kids from early on, to help them grow into healthy spenders, earners and savers."

Will Carmichael, CEO of NatWest Rooster Money

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