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Why give kids pocket money?

(13 Posts)
2kidsintow Tue 02-Oct-12 22:39:23

I've been reading a different thread and suddenly had this thought. I never got pocket money as a kid and don't recall being bought stuff frequently either apart from a small chocolate bar (fudge) if Mum was treating us.

I do give my kids pocket money. They have to put their clothes away and keep their rooms (relatively) tidy, and they get £10 a month. DD1 is now in secondary and DD2 has just joined the juniors and I'm wondering if this is enough.

But then I'm thinking that I don't want to spoil them and have them grow up expecting to rely on the bank of Mum and Dad or to feel that they are 'due' this money for nothing. So it started me thinking....what is the point of pocket money?

I started it as a way of having an easy way to limit the amount of money that was spent on treats for them... before that I used to just buy them bits and pieces, but it was difficult to keep it fair and to draw the line without seeming mean. Now they know they will need to spend their own money on it.
And I suppose it teaches them to budget, but are there other advantages to giving your kids pocket money?

Trills Tue 02-Oct-12 22:41:35

So that they have some freedom in what treats/toys/sweets/clothes they have.

And so that they learn to handle money (e.g. if you spend it on X then you can't buy Y)

picturesinthefirelight Tue 02-Oct-12 22:43:10

Dh never had pocket money. Instead his parents saved money for him in a bank account and if he wanted anything he had to ask them.

I always had pocket money. I could choose to spend it on sweets/clothes/make up etc or save it for something bigger.

When we both started uni I was used to handling money, budgeting and making decisions as to how to manage.

Dh had no idea & blew his entire grant in the first month.

My mum saiid my dad was the same ( he handed over his wages to his parents who kept him until he married, she had always been allowed to manage what little money she earnt.

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Tue 02-Oct-12 22:44:07

yes, I feel that it teaches my dd a sense of responsibility and consequences too - if you don't do your chores you don't get your pocket money. Likewise if there's something she's saving for then she can choose to earn more money by offering to do more chores. I think it helps learn a good work ethic - that things are worth working hard for.
Also the fact that money doesn't grow on trees - things have to be budgeted for, and if you can't afford it now then you save until you can.

I really begrudge paying £3 for a comic that will be read in half an hour, if dd wants to out of her money then that's up to her.

Inneedofbrandy Tue 02-Oct-12 22:45:37

Mine are 7 and 5, they have a pound for spending on sweets / chocolates/ poundshop toys, and a pound in their money boxes. When they have enough money in their money boxes we have a look on amazon for second hand wii or ds games. just teaches them the value of saving up for things they want.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 02-Oct-12 22:47:02

It's not just about budgeting, it's about managing money, making choices, learning its real value. My ds gets a better lesson in budgeting from the cashless cafeteria system than he does from money, but I still think there are other things he needs to learn. Indepeandance is a part of it too.

DadDadDad Tue 02-Oct-12 22:47:02

We give our children pocket money, and I certainly concur with your reason about spending on treats: if they want sweets or useless items from museum gift shops or a magazine, then they have to pay for it out of their pocket money, and if they haven't got the money, I'm not going to buy it for them.

They also have savings accounts where they save some of their money (if they want to, but with some encouragement from us). DS2 has set himself the goal of something more expensive he wants to buy, and is saving quite well.

Finally, they do give some of it away (in particular, both DS sponsor an animal through WWF).

So I guess they are beginning to learn the mantra I repeat to them: "spend some, save some, give some away" - how else are they going to learn to do that sensibly as adults, if we don't give them the opportunity to do it as children?

My eldest is 6, we're saving his pocket money for a big holiday next year. Normally he gets a pound a week from us, but asked us to give it him next year. Any money he gets from grandparents though is his to do with as he pleases. Today for instance he brought a pound to swimming to buy a chocolate bar, other weeks he will save it. He has a selection if money boxes, ones that he can get in and out of, one where I keep the tiny key safe (but can haw when he wants) and a tin that has to be cut open. grin

2kidsintow Tue 02-Oct-12 22:52:47

Oh, just realised that they get a bit more than that actually! I handle and dole out the 'spending pocket money' and DH sorts the 'saving' pocket money. He saves £5 a month each into an account which isn't touched except once in a while when they want to buy something bigger that is special. E.g. they both had money withdrawn to buy themselves a kindle a few months ago.

Anonymumous Tue 02-Oct-12 22:54:22

If nothing else, it's a foolproof way to get out of buying them anything I don't want them to have. "Do you have enough pocket money for that? No? Oh dear, never mind. Off we go..." (Mind you, I am stingy - £1.00 a week for an 8 year old. Poor kid never has enough money for anything. blush)

Plus it's a good threat. "If you do that again, you won't get any pocket money this week!" Or "If you break that, you're paying for it out of your pocket money!"

dysfunctionalme Tue 02-Oct-12 22:56:55

My dc are 5 & 10.

I put money in their bank accounts each week, and the deal is that they can take it out for special reasons e.g. spending money on holiday or a particular toy they desperately want.

I also give the older one a little bit of spending money each week when I remember, she likes to work out how much she'll need to buy hot chips with her friend once a week/similar extravagance.

None of this is related to household chores. My view is that we all contribute what we can, and the pocket money is not a reward but all part of the package!

Growing up my dad sat down on Friday night and wrote us each a cheque which of course we had to bank before we could access. Our spending money came from babysitting/gardening/other little jobs.

cory Wed 03-Oct-12 07:56:50

For me it's about teaching them to budget, definitely. My dn's have no pocket money but a dad who gives them bits and bobs: in consequence they have no idea what things cost; as far as they are concerned treats just flow down from heaven.

Mine like yours get £10 a month when they start secondary; they quickly learn what you can and can't do with a set sum of money.

trinitybleu Wed 03-Oct-12 08:15:30

It's taught my DD(5) how much magazines are. The day she realised how many penny sweets = 1 Barbie magazine was priceless. Now she buys sweets or saves up for lego, and waits til a Granny buys her a magazine!

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