Bit of a curveball post this, but its title is no joke. It’s about something called KidStart and I’ve long wanted to write a recommendation of it, because there’s no trickery and no small print and no catches: it is, plain and simple, actual free money for your children.
Basically, KidStart is an online portal that you sign up for an account with and from which you then click through to the sites you’d normally shop from online (eBay, John Lewis, M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Ocado (which I’ve just seen gives £10 back on your first ever order!), Kiddicare, Boden, Amazon, Waterstones, the Apple Store, Habitat, Startrite, Clarks, Early Leaning Centre, The White Company, Etsy – all those guys and many many more). When you click through and buy whatever you’d normally buy, a percentage of what you spend is paid into your ‘Kiddybank’ within the KidStart portal.
You can set up the Kiddybank’s funds to be split between your children – either equally or in whatever percentages/ratios you choose. These are paid across to the child’s/children’s bank accounts every so often (some of the retailers take longer to approve their funds than others, I’ve found). They can be transferred to a CTF, Junior ISA etc, or if you don’t have those, to your bank account. But the money is meant to be saved for the child, rather than being used by the wider family.
I have been doing our weekly grocery shop, buying school uniform, summer sandals, even stuff like a new keyboard for my computer – all things I would normally buy – through KidStart for a while now. Our family’s annual travel insurance went through it (I got a flat £10 for that – nice), and our Christmas shopping benefits the boys in better ways than just receiving toys.
I don’t even need to be that organised to use it – if I forget to click through from it, KidStart has this downloadable prompt that means when you Google say ‘skateboard’, those sites stocking skateboards that are linked to KidStart will be highlighted in the Google search results, so that you know you could have the cash back for your kids if you shopped through them. Also, if you type a URL into your browser, a notification will usually come up to say it’s a KidStart-affiliated company and that you should click to them through it. Clever.
Finally, you can invite grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc to use it as well, and they can allocate the proceeds of what they spend online with those companies to your kids.
So it’s not rocket science, it’s just really smart and totally faff-proof. And it costs you absolutely nothing because it’s all about retailers wanting you to buy from them over their competitors so much, they’ll incentivise you to do so.
I have been using it for I think two years. And I’ll bet you’d like to know how much I’ve saved? It’s £317.02! (So FAR more than any interest a savings account will generate with the current shit rates being what they are).
Disclosure: No compensation, financial or otherwise, was offered or accepted for the initial writing of this post. I began it a couple of months ago, as I have been using KidStart for a couple of years after seeing it on Moneysaving Expert, and because I think it’s amazing. However, I then looked at the site to write the list of brands as the examples above, and realised I could partner with them by being given a unique link code, and – in the name of saving more for my own children – decided to do just that. When new users sign up and accrue up £5-worth of savings, my own children’s bank accounts will also be credited with £5. This is obviously at no cost to any new users, it is paid out by KidStart the organisation, who are keen to spread the word. Whether or not I had done this, I wanted to share it with Little Lewes’s readers – handy to know about I think ahead of Christmas.
KidStart do not know I’m writing this post.
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