We recently made a big financial decision that will have a huge impact on our children. That sounded a lot more serious than it needed to be. We’re starting to give the boys pocket money!
There are a few reasons for this. First of all, it was high time. Dylan will soon be eight and Xander recently turned six. Secondly, there’s a generational issue. Thanks to everything being digital, contactless and largely invisible these days, I don’t think kids have the same understanding as we did.
The only cash Dylan and Xander have comes in the form of loose coppers they find and go all a bit Gollum with or the shiny pound coins the tooth fairy brings.
That’s not to say we don’t spend anything on them – far from it. It’s just that their experience of money until now is seeing us waving a plastic card, clicking a mouse or tapping a phone.
Indeed, one of the areas that both boys need to improve on in maths relates to money. And this is because we’ve inadvertently let them down by not giving them enough of a context to learn with.
So introducing pocket money can only help. But they’re going to have to earn it! Whether it’s tidying their room, helping in the garden or doing some cleaning we’re putting them to work. After all, that’s an important part of learning the value of money.
How they spend it will be up to them. We’re going to encourage them to save up for things and avoid acting like Harry Redknapp on transfer deadline day, but they’ll get the final say.
I’ve always been sensible with money in adult life and I think a key reason for this is because I had pocket money as a child. That’s not to say I was sensible with it back then – I blew it all on sweets and football magazines. I’m glad my parents let me do so, as I learned from these mistakes.
So they shall earn coins. And they shall get the resultant holes burned in their pockets. And, all being well, it will contribute to them becoming sensible with money one day.
We’re not giving Amelie pocket money yet as, obviously, she’s way too young. She has clearly been observing the situation and taking it all in though.
A few days ago, she walked up to me, gave me my slippers and said “five pounds?” Maybe I’ve done her a disservice by saying she’s too young – she already seems to have a better grasp than her brothers!
Do you give your kids pocket money? If so, how much do they get and what jobs do they do to earn it?