Finance: Pocket money troubles

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“How much pocket money do you give to your children?” It’s a question that comes up often. Is there an easy answer to it? Of course not but it is a tricky area for all parents.

The simple fact is there no going rate for pocket money. What you give to your children is up to you. How much you can afford and how old they are are big factors. If your children lived in isolation this would be fine. It’s when they start comparing themselves to others that the trouble starts.

When I was at school I soon realised there is always at least one child who would always have the latest toy or gadget, expensive clothes and go on a number of holidays each year. Now you can throw into the mix mobile phones. Did you see the football match on TV last night? They did of course because they have the most expensive television package at home. These kids would also be the ones who each weekend would be given bundles of cash as pocket money.

This isn’t knocking people who work hard and earn good money. If you have it then it is yours to spend and enjoy. Remember though you still have a responsibility to your children. When money comes easy you lose respect for it. Things which were once treats cease to be. The joy from these items diminishes and more and more items are needed to try and fill that void. Having money should never make you want to look down on others who don’t have as much as you.

On the subject of working for your money do your children only receive pocket money if they do chores? Do you use this method to install a work ethic in them? Many parents think that children have it too easy these days and don’t know what it is like to do a decent day’s work. Or do you use it as a way to get cheap labour? Can’t afford cleaner or don’t want the hassle of getting one? Use the children instead! The promise of pocket money can also be used out of despair. When you feel like you have to breach some kind of barricade in order just to go from one side of your child’s bedroom to the other side then the lure of pocket money many come in handy.

Once your kids have their hands on some cash what do they do with it? Is it straight to the sweet shop or a request for you to buy them something online? Does it burn a hole in their pocket or go into a piggy bank? You might have a mini entrepreneur in the house. I’ve heard many reports recently of children now buying and selling. £5 could be gone in a flash or turned into £500. 

So what is the best method for dealing with pocket money? There isn’t one but whatever you give your children make sure they spend or indeed save it wisely.

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About Ness Charles

Ness is a former qualified independent financial adviser with many years of experience in pensions. Since having her two children she has gone back to her first love of writing. Ness now writes the blog JibberJabberuk focusing not only on personal finance but also her love of cake baking, gardening and taking photographs on her travels around the UK.