7 Reasons To Give Your Child Pocket Money

Should you give children pocket money?

Giving a child pocket money is much more than just a nice gesture or spoiling your kids.

There are important life lessons to be learnt from a young age in a society that relies on money to function.

You must be careful about providing money for your children, but done correctly with set ground rules, many skills can be learnt for life.

Providing children with a small allowance has a much deeper effect than understanding money management.

It can be used to illustrate concepts such as goal setting and develop independence.

Parents should be demonstrating positive spending habits to children from an early age, even if you feel it is too soon for pocket money.

According to a report commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Money Advice Service, children already develop money habits by age 7.

1) Develop self-dependency – Some parents may think that giving pocket money makes it too easy for children to obtain money without hard work. Of course, before a certain age, it is not possible for a child to work and earn money independently. Giving pocket money allows a certain level of independence that would not be available when relying on parents to buy everything.

2) Understand the importance of saving money – That independence covers many areas of life from going out with friends, to saving money for a bigger purchase. Maybe there’s a certain thing that you child wants but can’t afford until he or she has saved up for a few weeks or months. Saving money teaches patience and discipline.

3) Build all-round growth – Modern society relies on money and the financial system heavily and understanding money is a crucial part of becoming a rounded person. You could even open a bank account for your child to help them learn how to operate their finances with a 3rd party.

4) Help in an emergency – Money is usually pretty handy to help oneself out of a sticky situation. Pocket money could once again develop independence in a child as it may allow them to stand on their own to feet when things don’t go to plan. We’re talking about minor emergencies here. Maybe they’re stuck somewhere and need to get a train or bus instead of you driving to pick them up.

5) Understand money management – It could be a great idea to think about how often you provide pocket money. A teenager could receive money once a month rather than once a week. This will mean he or she will have to manage their money for a longer period of time. Be careful not to offer a top-up if they spend it all. The most important thing here is that once it’s gone it’s gone!

6) Learn value for money – Money management will also develop a value of money and an understanding of a precious commodity. No doubt to start with the spending may be a bit frivolous. Over time they will understand not to spend everything at once and to start to budget.

7) Learn where and where not to spend money – Do you buy your child clothes? Probably, but at some point, teenagers want their own choices. This could be another learning opportunity if you incorporate a clothing allowance into a monthly allowance. Explain that any clothing must be bought with this money. Allow your child to make mistakes in order to learn. They may spend the funds on other unnecessary products but they will quickly realise they can’t afford a new item of clothing that month.

Learning experience through pocket money

Allowing children to develop independence and an understanding of money is clearly important to their future as an adult. Pocket money is a rewarding way to instil self-reliance while reinforcing basic maths skills. There must also be strict rules in place to provide a correct learning experience. Refrain from topping up funds if they run out or buy extra things that should be bought with the allowance. 

How much pocket money should you give your child?

If you’re not sure how much or how often to provide money then it could be a good idea to talk to other parents. You may have a different budget to other families so it is important to be open and honest with your children. They may become jealous or resentful of peers who receive more money. Simply explain to your child that it is what you can afford and not because they don’t deserve more.

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