Pocket money is a great way to reward your children, teach them about the value of money and can give them a sense of pride in their possessions when they’ve bought something with their own money. Problems can arise with pocket money however, such as how much do you give? How often? And when to increase it or take it away. Having been through this with my 3 I want to give you a few tips on how best to manage pocket money.
Set Out the Ground Rules
When you first start giving pocket money to the kids it is important that you sit down with them and lay out some rules about how it will work. Firstly, I wanted to remind my kids that this is not free money just because you’re my child, the money must be earned, chores, good behaviour, good grades, a kind act, whatever it is that you want to see from your child, let them know that as long as you see it, the money will be there. Let your kids know that you will also refuse to give them pocket money if you see bad behaviour or an unwillingness to pay attention to the rules that you have set out. Even more important is that once you’ve established the rules, you must enforce them, this way your child will fully understand what they have to do to get the money and teaches them that hard work has its rewards.
Another important part of setting out the rules is giving your child guidelines on what the money is to be spent on. Now, there is no need to be draconian with this but remember that the purpose of pocket money is not only a reward but a way to educate your child in learning the value of money. With this being said I always felt it was important that my children didn’t waste their money. What I did with my 3 was ask them to tell me what they were going to buy with it before they spent it, I very rarely told them that they couldn’t buy what they told me but I would always have a conversation with them about it. Doing this just gives your child the opportunity to think again about their purchase and means that they are less likely to make rash purchases.
When to Increase
If you are like me and have more than one child then it is important that the pocket money situation remains fair between, in my case, between all 3 children. I began giving them money at the same ages and increased pocket money at the same ages as well. My 13 year old would hit the roof if he thought he was only receiving the same as my 11 year old. Keep it fair and you won’t have any worries. Something that also worked better than I imagined was my savings bonus scheme. I told all of my children that for every penny or pound that they had saved by the end of the month, that I would match it for them. I honestly didn’t think any of them would really save much but for them it became a sort of game, they would battle it out for who could save the most. I strongly believe that this will help them in the future in saving money when they begin to earn.
I know some parents who don’t like to give pocket money and prefer to just buy things for their children when they have been well behaved. I don’t disagree with this strategy but for me I think that pocket money not only rewards your child but truly teaches them the value of money and how to manage their money for the future.