Money for the Kids

I have failed at the pocket money thing. Ask our kids and some of them may recall various different schemes we have had to distribute pocket money over the years. The bottom line is that we need to be consistent and I forget. We don’t encourage the kids to spend a lot of money and we have a framework of sorts in place for purchasing big ticket items. But is is holidays and the kids will have the opportunity to travel and see new things and no doubt want to purchase a trinket or treasure, a game or a book.

So I have been thinking about pocket money again. Some things I know need to be foundational. We are a busy, large family and there are a lot of chores and household jobs to do each day. Again we are not good at implementing a routine on this, but in essence pocket money should not be linked to doing chores. We all need to regularly contribute to how our household runs. I also know that pocket money needs to be age appropriate and that as parents we need to make suggestions for how it is to be used.

I love the SAVE SPEND SHARE approach that Michael Grose advocates. With  little and big people it would seem that having three jars (not boxes, piggy banks or purses) that are clearly labelled works best.

Giving children pocket money is an opportunity to encourage kids to save – for a range of larger items that they need to contribute to like a bike or a new basket ball, to spend – a sweet treat, a new book or some Smiggle stationary and share – contribute to the the family’s sponsor child, charity or missionary friend you support doing work overseas.

The aim is to encourage children to be independent and to understand that having money is an opportunity to exercise responsibility. Being given pocket money is not an invitation to spend more, want more or have more. In fact it should have the opposite effect. We want to reduce covetousness and create opportunities to communicate with our kids about how money works in this world – for good and bad.

The BIG question is how much do you give your kids? This is one area where being fair seems unfair. The four year old should not get the same amount as the 13 year old.

So what do you do? Mums, Dads, Grandparents, friends …….. share your wisdom.

6 thoughts on “Money for the Kids”

  1. I struggle with pocket money too- being consistent and remembering. We did the 3 jars approach for about 6 mouths. Its a good idea, and Henry was very happy to be able to give some money to a ministry project. However, the problem was having the right change and it just didn't seem to work long term. Both my children get $10 a month to put in their money boxes to save for things they want, and $10 goes in the bank. However I am starting to think the spending portion is too much, as we don't want them always spending. We also don't link any chores to pocket money, as they should contribute to the running of the family because they are part of it. Also struggle to be consistent with chores… so sorry not much wisdom here. I hope someone else shares some wisdom.

    I look forward to your next Edit. I have managed to resist buying a magazine a couple of times now, so I am hoping a new habit has been formed!

  2. Opps my name wasn't on the above comment.

    Have a good day Susan.

    I am off to do the monday tidy up and organise, after my cup of tea and blog reading!


  3. Hello there.
    We don't link pocket money to standard jobs although I give extra for big one-off jobs – usually gardening related work or some substantial cleaning project.
    We started our kids on pocket money on their 6th birthday ($2.50) and then give a “pay rise” on their 10th birthday to $4.00. Then next planned “pay rise” is then scheduled for when they start high school and having not reached that point yet, am not fully thought out on what that is going to look like. Although I am thinking that they can use some of their money when at high school to be responsible for keeping themselves stocked up with school stationery, pay for public transport or something…so that there is a degree of budgeting and planning in amongst the saving/spending.
    And even with the $2.50 level, the deal is that they take from that money an amount of their choice they would like to give to the children's church collection – that is their giving – and then they can do what they want with the rest. We have one saver and one spender.
    That has worked for us quite well.
    Meredith x

  4. The thing I couldn't get right was remembering to pay the money. So I got an app: iAllowance. It does the jar thing, which is awesome, and it does it automatically. The kids (and I) can easily check how much they have. It also means that the kids can buy things when we're out shopping, and then deduct it from their account.

    I did a little bit of research on amount, and ended up with a scheme where they get 50cents per year of age.

    One of the 'jars' I set was Christmas shopping: they put aside an amount each week that they will use for Christmas shopping.

    And I don't link chores to allowance. I expect them to do them, in the same way that they expect me to help them with stuff like slicing meat for their lunch, or doing their hair in the morning, or doing their laundry. It's not a perfect system, but it's working so far.

  5. Thanks for your contributions. I always seem to get caught out on holidays and at Christmas time! Fiona I had not explored the app option but this sounds like it would work in our family too. It is true that no system is perfect and each new scheme is a work in progress, one that the whole family can learn from. S x

  6. Our kids get $1 per week per year of schooling, up to $10, at which point they'll have to get a job if they want more money!

    It's not linked to chores – there are certain ones they just have to do – but they can earn extra money for certain jobs around the house and garden.

    I'm hopeless at remembering to pay up so I just keep track on the calendar: a little “TPtick” next to Saturday means I've given Thomas pocket money up to that weekend.

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