Growing up I didn’t receive pocket money from my parents. If I needed something it was up to them to decide whether or not they would buy it for me or give me the money to do so. The only time I can remember that I felt that is was not a fair deal, was the time when I really wanted the Converse sneakers and my mother bought me the cheaper rip off instead!
When I was about 16, I started to work a few hours a week and although my parents would still buy me all the necessities, these funds were for the things that didn’t fit into this category and this is how I bought my very first pair of Dr Marten’s (do you also see a pattern with shoes…?).
Up until now I was not sure how I felt about pocket money for my own kids and still aren’t, but either way, we decided last week to start giving them some.
While this is still a test drive and I am not sure still if this is the right thing for them (and us) and whether or not they have reached the age where they understand the concept (they are 5 and 7) my main goal and why I am trying this out is to try and teach them the value of money.
Every time we go somewhere there is always the questions of can we have this or that? My answer is mostly no, “it is too expensive” or “you already have tons of that”, I am not sure that they grasp this. I hope is that by giving them some funds of their own, the money aspect will become less abstract and more real.
Now, the questions are: How much should they get? Should they do something to earn it? Should there be restrictions on what they can use it?
While we are only starting out, the amount we have decided on is one shekel per year for each kid, meaning that the oldest gets 7 Shekels (2 US Dollars) per week and the younger 5 Shekels (US Dollar 1.5 per week).
In an ideal world kids shouldn’t, in my opinion, be paid to do chores as we are all one family that should help each other out. So by trying to leave the two things separate, we have emphasized to the kids is that now that they are getting bigger we expect them to be more responsible and help out around the house while on the other hand getting some pocket money because that they are now older and more responsible. Get it? Same same, but different 😉
As for how they can use it, I am still not sure how to approach the subject. We are still talking small sums here, but we do recommend them to add it to their piggy bank and wait for a bigger sum to get something bigger than just gum… When they get bigger and the sums as well, I think I would restrict part the money to be for savings and the other for spending, but we will pass that bridge when we get to it.
So those were my thoughts on the subject of pocket money for kids. I would love to hear yours.