How one family uses cryptocurrency to save

Cryptocurrency is confusing for some people, but mum Jayne — along with her husband and their two daughters — have found a way to make it work for them and their savings.

Getting started in cryptocurrency savings

Jayne and her husband thought about investing in Bitcoin when it first hit the headlines. “We came very close to investing and would have ended up doing very well but with a young family, we chose to sit it out,” she says.

A few years on, and Jayne continued to follow cryptocurrency news. In 2018, the family decided to take the leap and use cryptocurrency to save. “We decided to begin investing modestly, on a month-by-month basis, and just see what happens,” says Jayne.

The family mostly invests in Bitcoin and Ethereum because Jayne feels these are the most stable currencies. “We have invested a bit more cautiously in other less stable coins, but only for the short-term,” she says.

Jayne tracks her monthly investment through mobile apps such as CoinBit, which allow her to buy, switch and check on their coins. “We haven’t felt the need to use any of the funds to make major purchases, but it’s nice to have the option should we need to,” she adds.

Knowledge of the blockchain

While Jayne says she isn’t an expert in cryptocurrency, she has a broad understanding of the blockchain concept and believes it is safe.

Compared to regular investments, Jayne finds it convenient to use cryptocurrency to save. “If I’m totally honest, that convenience appeals most,” she says. “I can spend a little from the comfort of my sofa and . . . it can grow into something greater.”

Although the family knows cryptocurrencies can be unstable, Jayne and her husband only invest funds they could potentially afford to lose. Jayne says this is similar to her approach to traditional gambling.

Involving the whole family

Jayne involves the whole family in talking about crypto and NFTs. This is partly because she feels there isn’t enough financial education for young people in schools.

“We’re quite open with our kids about most things, and money is certainly something we discuss regularly,” she says. “Some of the more novel cryptocurrencies have funny names and are related to memes, [which] has given us a way to discuss the basics of investing in crypto.” She adds that, importantly, they talk about how easy it is to lose the money invested.

Jayne says that the family also invests in the stock market. As such, the children are used to talking about the importance of doing due diligence before handing over money to any financial organisation.

Given the current (October 2022) financial situation in the UK, Jayne hopes that cryptocurrency savings will help the family. “The pound is quite vulnerable to poor political decision making, and this gives us a way to insulate ourselves,” she says. “Also, in the grand scheme of things, it is only a small part of our income, which could improve our lot in the future, with a bit of luck!”

Advice for using cryptocurrency to save

For families who want to help their children understand crypto, Jayne’s advice is to spend lots of time talking. “We talk a lot. It’s important to let kids know how risky spending money on crypto can be. Maybe make a little investment together and watch it over a few weeks, to see how it ebbs and flows,” she says.

Apart from that, Jayne says families can take sensible precautions by using well-known and respected platforms. Additionally, only use cryptocurrency to save by investing money you could potentially afford to lose.

Decrypting Crypto

Text reads 'Decrypting Crypto / Exploring children's engagement with cryptoassets.'

Discover research into families and their engagement with cryptoassets.

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