Recent research by pocket money app RoosterMoney found that gaming currency has become a hot commodity among kids. According to the poll, 59% of kids (or three in five) would choose gaming currency over actual pocket money.
This is thought to be a direct result of the pandemic, as children have spent more time indoors playing video games. In fact, spending on digital games grew to a massive $127 billion (£92.5) in 2020. That represented an increase of over 20% compared to the previous year.
In fact, the research shows that “digital games such as Roblox and Fortnite are taking the place of pre-lockdown favourites such as sweets, books and magazines when it comes to pocket money spending.”
Gaming currency is winning over cash
RoosterMoney polled more than 2,800 parents on pocket money choices and found out that things are changing. Almost 60% of the parents surveyed said their children would turn down £10 in pocket money and instead choose 1,000 ‘V-Bucks’ or another gaming currency.
And it’s not just any digital currency either – kids have their own preferences too. The Roblox gaming currency, Robux, is the most sought-after digital money, attracting 67% of kids. Fortnite’s V-Bucks come next at 52%, followed by Minecraft’s Minecoins at 38%.
According to Will Carmichael, CEO of RoosterMoney, “These results demonstrate the impact online gaming is having on children’s understanding of money, and their saving and spending habits today. Kids are growing up surrounded by digital, online currencies, of which some may be more familiar with than traditional money – particularly as cash is being used less frequently.”
Educating kids on the value of currency
The fact that kids are choosing gaming currency over actual cash might just be a sign of the times. And financially savvy parents can certainly use this information to help their kids learn more about money.
“The gaming world, albeit virtual, can still help children learn core money skills they can apply in the real world,” Carmichael says. “Used in moderation, these gaming platforms promote the same behaviours of earning, saving and spending, which are valuable habits in later life.”
How kids can learn to save and budget
You cannot save digital money into a piggy bank, but virtual currency can still be used to teach your children good money habits. According to Forbes Advisor, one way to do this is paying with a debit card when you’re out shopping with the kids, then showing them a receipt so they can connect virtual spending with real money.
One way to encourage good money habits with digital money is to teach kids to budget. It’s easy for children to spend all their gaming currency over a weekend and then want more. To prevent this, sit them down to create a budget. Show them how to track money coming in and going out on a daily and weekly basis. This will make them aware of how they’re spending their gaming currency and how to stretch their budget.
If your kids have a smartphone, an app like RoosterMoney can also help. It will enable them to keep track of money earned, savings and expenses.
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