Welcome to the next instalment in our ‘Rooster Heroes’ series – bringing you financial experts from around the world, and asking them our 10 quick fire questions on all things pocket money and allowances. They’re all leaders in their field, and they’re all people we at RoosterMoney admire.
This month we spoke to Wim Mijs.
Wim is the CEO of the European Banking Federation (EBF) in Brussels and an outspoken advocate for financial education and digitalisation of financial services. Before joining the EBF, Wim was head of the Dutch Banking Association where he led the first financial education projects including the MoneyWise platform. And more recently he’s been behind the European Money Quiz initiative, aimed at 13-15 year olds, which you can find out about and take yourself here.
So he’s quite a big deal! And we’re delighted to have him on board.
1. What’s your earliest money memory? 🍼
My first pocket money was in Dutch Guilders at that time, before my 12th birthday I got 25 cents a week. I could not buy a lot for it, but I remember saving it to buy this Matchbox car costing 3 Guilder and 50 cents. When I got a bit older, I got one Guilder. In addition to this pocket money my parents offered me to do chores around the house: mowing the lawn and washing cars so I could top up my weekly allowance.
2. What did you want to be when you were a kid? 👶
I wanted to be a pilot.
“Before my 12th birthday I got 25 cents a week…I could not buy a lot for it!”
3. What’s your favourite candy? 🍬
A black candy called Drop, typically Dutch, with a delicious taste just between sweet and salty.
4. Describe your money personality 🤔
I would say I am quite careful with money, not a big spender. I like good quality things, so I carefully think them over. It may take a bit longer than usual to decide on buying things.
5. What’s the best bit about your job? 💼
The inter-cultural part of my organisation is the best. Not only in Brussels I meet so many cultures and ways of working, but in my own office the people are very diverse. I see it as a fascinating challenge to adapt to the different cultures you meet.
6. Do you give your kids an allowance? And if so, what’s the system? 💰
Yes I do, I give my two kids a weekly allowance which I have consistently built up as they’ve become older.
7. Best piece of money advice you’ve ever been given? 🎓
That was when I bought my first apartment, which proved to be very good advice at the time.
8. What’s your top tip for parents on teaching kids the value of money? 💡
The trick is to make money less abstract and make financial consequences and actions visible. I also believe in the value of letting kids make “controlled” mistakes, this way they learn how to make a different decision next time. If they spend everything on one shiny thing, the money is gone. You can spend your money only once.
“The trick is to make money less abstract and make financial consequences and actions visible.”
9. How will we be paying for things in 2040? 🤖
We will pay virtually with the device we might then have gotten familiar with. Maybe that will be a smartphone or maybe something that is not in use yet.
10. Bonus: Favourite app on your phone (apart from RoosterMoney of course!) 📲
WhatsApp and Spotify.
One last thing from Wim 👇
I want to say that I am honoured to be part of your Hero series and gladly take the opportunity to tell you more about what we do in Brussels. Besides dealing with difficult regulation for European banks we do everything in our power to put financial education on the map with several projects alongside our work. By doing so, we try to promote the right mindset in governments and policy makers, but also in the financial industry itself. Money is already a weird thing and in the virtual space it’s getting even more abstract. We see that many people struggle in understanding basic things, especially when we are spending and banking on new devices. Low financial literacy and skills in society can lead to bad things, people make the wrong financial decisions or become a target for criminals.
One project that we are very proud of this year is the European Money Quiz, an online contest that is played in 24 countries by more than 40,000 children. On 8 May every country sends its national winner to our Brussels finals. For more information please visit https://www.ebf.eu/europeanmoneyquiz/