3 tips for making pocket money work for you and them
How much pocket money you should give a child is a topic for hot debate among parents. But the simple answer is one size doesn’t fit all. The right amount depends on a range of factors, like your financial situation and your child’s age and responsibilities.
1. Working out what works for you
A good starting point is to look at your child’s age and the level of financial responsibility they can manage. You might give a younger child a small allowance as they don’t have as many expenses or responsibilities. For an older child you might decide they can get more pocket money to cover outings with friends, weekend activities or saving for something they really want.
Whatever the amount, it should also work for you and not put a strain on the family finances.
2. Learning through earning
Pocket money can be an excellent tool for teaching kids many important life skills beyond just the financial. So instead of just handing over money, you could tie it an earning system to teach children the value of hard work and the importance of budgeting.
Here are some easy ideas for kids to earn pocket money at home.
- Help around the house. Assign age-appropriate tasks to your child and attach a specific value to each task. This encourages them to contribute to the household while learning the connection between work and money.
- Recycling bottles and cans. In most states and territories you can earn cash by recycling bottles and cans. It not only helps the environment, but reinforces the benefits of recycling and rewards of responsible behaviour too.
- Selling off unwanted items. Encourage your child to declutter their space by selling unwanted items online or at a garage sale – under your supervision, of course! Safety
when selling second-hand items online or in person should always be top of mind. An additional consideration could be donating unwanted items and coupling it with a lesson that not everyone shares the same level of fortune.
3. Setting clear expectations
If you decide to tie pocket money to chores, it’s essential to establish clear expectations.
Make sure your child understands what’s expected of them and set a regular schedule for completing these tasks. It will help them learn the value of commitment and responsibility.
Also, if your child doesn’t complete a task or meet the expected standards, don’t be afraid to reduce or withhold pocket money. This could help them learn that actions have consequences and prepare them for real-world responsibilities.
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