Using Banqer in the classroom is a great way to get kids thinking about their financial futures. But how are students applying the financial education they learn in school IRL? We spoke to some students from St Martin’s School, Kaurilands Primary School, and St Joseph’s School to find out how they’re using their new financial know-how every day.
The kids are alright in Christchurch
Nerys and Hugh are students in 5/6 at St. Martin’s School in Christchurch. They both love using Banqer because of the way it prepares them for work life and helps them understand the importance of financial capability. As classic Kiwis, they’re particularly interested in property, and how to get into the property market. Nerys says that he’s got a better understanding of how mortgages work. “I’ve learned about mortgages, incomes real estate, savings accounts, and so much more,” says Hugh.
The real estate module in particular has helps both boys understand how important it is to set financial goals for successful futures. Hugh just bought his first house…on Banqer. Now that he has a mortgage to pay, he’s keen on keeping an eye on his personal spending. He puts all of his extra money on his Banqer mortgage, instead of spending it on optional extras like better avatars for his Banqer personality. And Nerys now knows that saving enough money for a house isn’t enough.
“You also need to have the money for insurance to cover you when disasters strike, like fires, floods, and earthquakes."
To be able to buy their properties on Banqer, the boys earnt money in their classroom by “doing good stuff” like being a role model to others, listening well to their teacher Iona, and doing great handwriting and homework. Even taking out the recycling can get them extra dollars to throw at their mortgages, while learning how to be a responsible member of society.
Nerys says that he doesn’t talk much about Banqer at home with his parents, but thanks to the parent portal, his parents can have a look at what he’s up to online¬–where he’s spending his Banqer money, and what he’s doing to earn it. He loves finishing his work to a high standard (and getting paid for it!) while Nerys loves being a role model, which shows that Banqer also teaches kids how important it is to do good work and be good people.
Now that Hugh is paying off his own mortgage, he likes talking to his dad about mortgages and real estate.
Both say they love talking to their parents about finances and that it’s a positive thing to be able to have these kinds of discussions at home.
Banqer through the eye of a Tiger
Tiger Clements-Smith missed the first day his class used Banqer. He was pretty unimpressed when he realized this, but he soon found that it was to his advantage. While he’d been off school was actually saving his income, while his classmates had already started spending theirs.
Tiger’s in a combined Year 5 and 6 class at Kaurilands Primary School in Auckland. Controversially (in his eyes anyway), the Year 6 students are paid more Banqer bucks than the Year 5’s for their weekly contribution to class - $250 more in fact. This is intended to reflect that in the ‘real world’ those with more job experience are paid a higher wage, however, Tiger sees it as unfair because they have to pay the same bills. Ouch.
On top of the base level income Tiger and his classmates earn for coming to school, their class also has a thriving career market. Tiger’s job is the Library Collect Monitor. He’s responsible for collecting up the library books and returning them to the library. While it’s not the highest paying job in the class (that’s the Accountant who makes sure everyone is paying their bills!) the low level of work required in the role, and subsequent work/life balance, make it a popular and in-demand position.
Students had to fill out job applications for the role where they had to outline the reasons why they’d be a perfect fit for the job.
Used in this way, Banqer is also a useful tool to help kids think about the jobs they want later in life, and how to get them.
Because Banqer is based on real life financial situations, Tiger and his classmates have to pay bills. They pay for desk and book storage rental and they also have to make a general bill payment for the educational content they receive from their teacher.
“We shouldn’t have to pay bills. Our teacher should just take it out of what she pays us,” says Tiger. But again, they have to pay bills themselves so they understand the importance of being responsible for them, and how to budget.
When it comes to KiwiSaver, Tiger wasn’t a big fan at first. “It just takes your money and makes it harder to save.” But, as he started to understand how KiwiSaver works to help him save, he also started to appreciate just how important it is to save for retirement. Just as his name might suggest, he’s always been a bit of a risk taker, and has chosen to opt into a high risk fund and increased his Banqer KiwiSaver contributions from 4 to 8%. Hear Tiger’s retirement fund roar!
By his own account the lessons Tiger has learned through Banqer have also trickled into his home life. He’s always been a saver, but his saving discipline has improved since he began using Banqer. And he’s got more savings targets too.
Because he loves to save, his favorite part of using Banqer is earning and saving his money.
He saves his money for the end of week auctions that include a few sweet treats. Tiger tells me he once paid a furniture pass “where you can kick people off furniture if you want to sit there”. And while kicking his friends off the beanbags is fun, he’s got his eyes set on a bigger prize: the end of term auction. He’s got big expectations of what might be on offer, so he’s saving early.
Big dreams in Timaru
Monica McDonald is a year seven student at St Joseph’s School in Timaru. She likes to learn about money and says that using Banqer is preparing her for budgeting her money when she’s an adult, which is much better than her teacher rewarding her with play money.
“I’ve learned about taxes, KiwiSaver, insurance, real estate, mortgages, income and more. I definitely have a better understanding about money after using Banqer for two years.” She often shares what she’s doing in Banqer with her dad which has had a really positive effect in real life.
“After telling my Dad about Banqer, he tells me what’s going on in our bank accounts and what’s happening with the houses he owns.”
Opening up financial dialogues at home with her dad will also add to her financial education.
Monica says that she’s become better at saving real money since using Banqer too. “Now I can spend my money when I need to and understand the importance of saving it.” Monica is now saving her money for university, which is pretty impressive for a year seven student! She earns her Banqer money by completing her homework, producing good quality work, and generally being good and helping her classmates.
“I like it when I get money for quality work,”
Monica says, which is an excellent lesson to learn about the value of doing exceptional work. Just one of many side lessons that Banqer teaches students. One of the most important lessons for Monica is that she now knows how many financial responsibilities she has to look forward to as an adult!
“I didn’t know there were so many things you had to do and now, I still have a lot more to learn, but I definitely have a lot more knowledge about money and how to use and invest it thanks to Banqer.”
Want to find out more? Read how Kiwibank and Banqer are working together to support the next generation of Kiwis on the Banqer site. You can also find out how to get Banqer and interactive financial literacy into a classroom you care about.