Most children these days are at least somewhat familiar with tech devices. As they’re born into a world where they devices are often the mainline means of connecting with online life management, including access to educational resources as we saw in the pandemic, it’s not uncommon for them to ask for time on the family tablet or your phone.
On top of that, they likely know how to place a Disney blu-ray into the player already, or can operate a streaming service menu like no one’s business. However, as our children get a little older and their dependence on these devices can start to become a little costly, it’s worth considering how, especially in these current times where energy is more expensive than ever, you can begin to limit their use and prevent them from adding unnecessary cost to your overall monthly budget.
This may require a few approaches, and while the savings will occur, they can take some time to be felt. But like applying best practice, now is the best time to get started:
Place Them In Their Own Compartment
The last thing you need to see is your Macbook covered in sweet, sticky juice because the anti-spill lock on your child’s juice flask has somehow managed to spill. Kids can’t really help this, they’re just kids, and so it’s a good idea to make sure that the tech devices they may wish to use have their own place, where they’re protected.
This might mean implementing a laptop stand at your office desk so it can’t be knocked off so easily. It may mean placing your games console firmly within a proper television stand with appropriate compartments so your child can’t pull it out. On top of that, you may decide to:
Add Protective Cases
A great protective case can limit even the most proactive child from breaking whatever it is they have their hands on. A good protective case and screen protector for your phone, tablet and laptop can ensure that at the very least if your child forgets where they’ve put it and you tread on the device, or if they drop it, or if they use it with more vigor than you may have wanted, you’ll be in the best position to avoid issues.
Sometimes, protective cases can come for free with an appropriate insurance policy, which is something worth looking into. This may mean that even if the item is damaged, you can schedule a cheap repair or an appropriate replacement depending on your policy.
Incentivize Analogue & Non-Screen Games
Of course, any time that your children spend away from a screen is ideal. For this reason, it can be a healthier life investment to provide them a new bicycle if they need one or to play board games with them. One excellent LEGO city staging area can provide them with enough entertainment for another year entirely – and you can check which ones are in stock here.
Alternatively, it can be a good idea to invest in arts and crafts, membership club items in which they build models over a few months, and other hobbies that are less expensive to keep up with and can help your child socialize with others away from online life. These physical items can last for some time, serving as worthwhile home expenditures, but will also encourage time away from one of the most addictive new recreational habits for children out there. That has to be a win when looked at so plainly.
Set Appropriate Parental Controls & Timers
The best thing you can ever do when permitting your child to use one of these devices is to set the parental controls they’ll be using appropriately. This can prevent them from accessing materials that they shouldn’t have access to, stop others from contacting them using the apps that they don’t quite understand, and it will also restrict their screen time.
Many apps now offer parental controls of worth, and you can set them behind administrator control passwords. But what does this have to do with saving money? Well, here you can set the exact hours of on-screen time your child has access to. This means they won’t be able to play their games console for twelve hours a day, wasting electricity and running up their energy bills each month.
When you find an agreed compromise like this, you’ll most likely find a better way to save money while also not having to outright limit or restrict the desires of your child.
It’s sometimes risky to have your child play around with one of your tech devices because if you have your payment information saved into your account, they may be able to purchase games or other expenses without you realizing it until the bill comes due.
This is why setting password protection locks can be so useful here. Make sure to set full passphrases as the login instead of biometric authentication, because it might just be that an ingenious child places the face ID towards your face when you’re sleeping and can gain immediate access.
Limiting purchases and signing up for regular expenditure reviews will help you see just what your child is getting up to, and the game platforms they’re visiting. This means that as long as its happening on your device, nothing will be hidden from you.
To conclude, ultimately, when we allow our children to use tech devices we need to do so under our appropriate supervision, and let them know the ground rules of use. If you follow the further steps outlined in this post, you should hopefully be able to save money by preventing damage, loss, and overuse of said items so that your energy and device management bills are cut. At a time like this, when so many costs are going up, it’s not hard to see exactly why a diligent approach can be so useful.
With this advice, we hope you can stop your children’s use of electronics from costing you money. Don’t be afraid to share any advice if someone has worked for you in the past!