19th February 2019

The importance of giving children pocket money

It’s difficult to know how much pocket money to give to children. But one thing is for sure: managing a budget will help them learn the value of money and teach them to appreciate it more.

Who should get pocket money?

It’s up to each family to decide when they want to start giving their children pocket money. However, if you want to give your children their pocket money at regular intervals, for example monthly or weekly, it’s better to wait until they have learnt arithmetic and are beginning to get a better idea of time. Starting secondary school can also be a good occasion to introduce pocket money.

From the age of 12, your child is able to use his or her first debit card: the Axxess card. By setting up a standing order for a predefined amount on his current account, you give your child both more freedom and more responsibility. On this way, the young adult can be responsible for his or her own expenses, such as lunch or the weekend movie session.

That being said, children can start learning the value of money well before that, with little everyday things. For example, you can ask your child to count out the money for bread at the corner shop or you can pay him or her for doing small chores at home. Little by little, your child will understand that everything has a price and that money doesn’t grow on trees.

Parents don’t have to give their children pocket money, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. On the contrary, it’s a sign of trust and a way of giving children responsibility from a young age.

How much money should you give them?

There is no set formula here either but there are some factors that you can take into consideration:

  • the child’s age: Pocket money needs to pay for activities relevant to his or her age. At 12, your child might want to buy a magazine or a t-shirt, whilst at 17, he or she might want to go to the cinema with friends.
  • the responsibilities you want to give your child: For example, if you want your child to take responsibility for buying his or her own school supplies, you need to give him or her enough pocket money to cover this.
  • your own income: Consider how much you are willing to give them, taking into account your income and outgoings.

Whatever you decide, it is important to stick to a routine and not withhold pocket money at any given opportunity. If you start giving your child pocket money, he or she should be entitled to it even if he or she hasn’t tidied their room for example. Equally, don’t give your child money just on merit. If your child gets a good mark at school, it’s better to reward him or her with an activity that they will enjoy: a cinema trip, outing to the park, etc.

My child isn’t managing the pocket money? Should I step in?

So, your child has blown it all on sweets or the latest trainers? Your child is entitled to spend his or her pocket money however he or she sees fit, so it’s important not to meddle in his or her choices!

What if he/she runs out of money and asks for an advance? Rather than giving in, suggest some solutions. Explain to your child how to save up or show him or her how to keep a cash book. This will help your child learn how to prioritise certain items and give some thought to what they want to do with their money. By opening a savings account for your child, you’ll be encouraging him or her to put some money aside and actually watch it grow over time.

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