Pocket money – how much should children get?

Posted in: Family Last updated: 14 May 2010

“Daaad? Please can I have some more money?”

If you’re a parent, you’re bound to have heard this many times, and the easy option is to hand over a pound for a packet of sweets, magazine or toy. But we all know this isn't the best approach for the long term, especially if you are trying to teach your kids the value of money.

Giving regular pocket money

One of the advantages of giving regular pocket money is that it can be used to help children understand why saving can be just as satisfying as spending.

Childhood is a great time to develop saving habits, as kids have so few demands on their cash, unlike parents who have bills to pay.

"One of the advantages of regular pocket money is that it can be used to help children understand why saving can be just as satisfying as spending."

A few tips on teaching children money management through pocket money:

  • Encourage your children to put some of their pocket money aside each week or month for savings. Regular savings can encourage them to be thrifty in the future and teach them that saving can bring them closer to that more expensive purchase, or something they really want.
  • Be consistent – set a fixed amount and stick to it. This is important and can teach your children about salaries and how they work. Of course there are exceptions to the rules, i.e. for special occasions or when they have done something you wish to reward.
  • Finally, make it clear that the money is theirs to manage as they wish but they won’t be getting any more if they spend it all in one day. It’s important for kids to make mistakes so they will learn for the future.

So how much should you give them?

A good starting point could be to explain how your own income and expenditure works. If they’re old enough, it might be a good idea to show them how much you earn and how much goes on bills to feed and clothe them. This way they can see how you decide the amount of pocket money they receive.

Ultimately it’s up to you how much pocket money you give your children, but teaching them the value of money could be beneficial for them in later life.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial adviser about your own circumstances.