Up until now, none of our three children have received or asked for pocket money. The older two (aged 10 and 8) often get given small amounts of money by their grandparents and they’ve never asked for any more. Last week though, our eldest son asked if he could start getting weekly pocket money. He’ll be 11 in October and after a bit of thought we’ve decided that now might be the time.
What age is the right age?
I’m not sure why we’ve never given pocket money before. The children never really have any need to have money on a weekly basis. They’ll often receive money for birthdays and Christmas and they’ll either put it away into their savings account or treat themselves to something they’ve wanted.
When Big Man asked for pocket money though, it made me stop and reassess. He’ll be at high school next year, he’ll be wanting to go out with his friends on his own and he’ll need a little of his own money. He’s always been really good with his own money and I think having a little extra to spend how he wishes will only encourage him to keep on managing his money well.
We’ve decided that when he turns 11 next month, we’ll give him some pocket money each week in return for him completing a few jobs around the house. We’re waiting for his birthday so that we can do the same for his younger sister and brother, they’ll start receiving pocket money when they turn 11 too. We’re not going to ask much of him in return for his pocket money, just that he picks up his dirty washing and puts it in the washing basket, makes his bed, folds his school uniform up and makes sure he doesn’t leave plates/bowls/cups in his bedroom. We may add to this as he gets older I think.
Part of me feels mean that they haven’t been getting pocket money until now, but there’s honestly just not been the need! We’ll treat them now and then and they really don’t go without. I wondered what other parents thought, so I asked a few fellow bloggers!
A few opinions
There’s really no right or wrong answer to this, whether you give your child pocket money is completely a personal decision and very much depends on your own family circumstances.
I don’t give them money each week. If there is something that they want then we talk about ways they can get the money. Last year my eldest wanted this toy which was £40. Together we came up with things he can do around the house to earn money. It took him about 3 weeks to earn the money and we went and bought it. For smaller items such as football cards etc then all they need to do is ask and if they have been good they can have it. (www.themumdiaries.co.uk)
We don’t do pocket money. We’ve tried it & tried chore charts to allow them to earn their own money too, they just don’t work for us. We prefer to allow the kids to pick a ‘pocket money treat’ when we go out for days out (they’ll usually have a set budget, like £5/£10 each, depending on where we are/how much we’ve been out recently etc.). If someone’s been badly behaved, they don’t get anything, it’s a good incentive for good behaviour on days out. If there’s something specific they want, it goes on Christmas/Birthday lists or they can spend money they’ve got from those occasions on it. With 5 kids, just giving them money for nothing doesn’t work for us, and they can’t be bothered to work for it because they know they’ll get what they want for Birthdays/Christmas anyway (that sounds terrible I know but I think it’s more that their not really bothered by little things anymore, especially the older kids). My kids are 17, 15, 14, 10 & 6.
We give our children pocket money. My 3 year old and 6 year old get £2 a week and are expected to help out with small chores. The 8 year old has a Go Henry account and debit card, he gets £3 a week paid in but can earn an extra £2 a week for doing additional chores. It has worked well to teach him budgeting and the value of things. (http://mummyisagadgetgeek.co.uk)
Amy gets £2 a week since she turned 6 and she loves saving it up in a humongous pink piggy bank. I think it has really helped her to understand the value of money and how much everyday items cost. We don’t make chores a condition for her pocket money, though, as I believe children should help out around the house no matter what. (http://www.mummyalarm.co.uk)
Mine are 8 and 5 and I give them each £1 a week in return for some basic chores. It teaches them to be responsible and they also save for things they want. My daughter budgets better than my son but both learn from it! (www.thebestversionofkelly.com)
My little darlings are 6 and 8, they get 50p a night for sleeping through the night (yes I bribe them). They can earn extra for helping around the house and can lose some for misbehaviour. (www.epsandamy.co.uk)
We give £2 a week and have since our 8 year old was 6. He saves up for things he wants so we tend not to buy him random books/games anymore. We sometimes give him extra before we go on a day out or whatever. I feel it stops him asking for junky thinks since he has to use his own money. We don’t link it to chores because I don’t want him to decide he can avoid doing chores if he doesn’t want the money. (http://bammboo.co.uk)
I started giving my daughter pocket money this year when she turned five. She gets £1 every Friday. She doesn’t really have to do anything to get it, but if she really misbehaves then she won’t get it. So I guess she does have to generally be good! I’m thinking of changing it so she has to earn it by doing simple things like putting her washing in the basket rather than on the floor and helping out with basic things around the home. I started giving it as I want her to learn about money and saving from a young age and to encourage her to want to save rather than spend every penny like I always did! She already enjoys saving her pocket money for 3-4 weeks to buy a magazine. She has more patience than I ever did! (www.lyliarose.com)
So how much?
This was our other dilemma! We’d decided we’re going to give pocket money but the amount was up in the air. I don’t think he will need a lot, but at the same time I don’t want us to be too stingy about it. Upon asking him, it seems one of his closest friends gets £2.50 per week. That seems reasonable to me and having read the comments above I’m happy to set the figure at that.
Big Man is now really looking forward to turning 11 just so that he can start getting his weekly pay! He’s also started asking if he can go to the park on his own to meet his friend, now that’s a whole different kettle of fish and something I’m still stewing on!
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