Forget the spare change we used to receive when we were kids, a survey carried out by RoosterMoney this year found that children aged between 4 and 14 in 2016 received on average £180 in pocket money across the year. Whilst a separate study carried out by Childwise showed that boys receive £2.20 more pocket money a month than girls do. Showing that the gender pay gap seen in the UK starts earlier than you would think.
At the Children’s Room offices we decided to look into the topic of pocket money further, discussing it amongst ourselves, and chatting about it to our customers. Below are our thoughts, ramblings and findings on the topic.
The Pocket Money Minefield
Pocket money has always been a bit of a parenting minefield, mainly because children are pretty curious creatures who are ultra-receptive to advertising and marketing. Making them permanently interested in their next acquisition and where they can spend their pocket money as quickly as possible.
Taken back to basics however, it’s easy to understand the reasons why we should choose to give pocket money. It’s also easier than you think to determine how much pocket money your child should get, and what behaviour they need to display to qualify for pocket money.
Done right, pocket money can be a fantastic way of helping your child understand financial responsibilities, hard work and budgeting from a very young age. Furthermore, it is imperative to remember that the purpose of pocket money should be to teach your children about the value of money.
It’s important as a parent that you clearly define how your child can earn pocket money and what they can do to earn extra ‘bonus’ pocket money. As well as making it clear how they can lose pocket money through bad behaviour and messy rooms! Taking your child shopping with their money can also help them understand how to manage their own money, with higher value and more desirable items being accessible the longer your child has saved.
When to start giving pocket money?
Children are generally ready to understand the concept of pocket money when they are able to add and subtract quantities. A common age to start giving pocket money is at four years of age, where the average weekly pocket money totals £2.36 in the UK.
What should children have to do to earn pocket money?
Whilst our warehouse at Children’s Rooms isn’t full of all the kids within the family, there are a number of jobs around the home which your child can carry out to earn their pocket money. Whether your pocket money is given on a series of weekly tasks, or tasks completed earn a ‘bonus’ is entirely up to you.
Some of the most common tasks carried out for pocket money include gardening, cleaning the car washing the dishes and hoovering. Whilst other incentives could include completing homework on time, completing extracurricular education, looking after pets and tidying rooms.
If your child becomes a pocket money driven, hard worker, don’t worry! You can keep the amount of pocket money given small. It’s up to your child to negotiate a better deal as their awareness of money increases with age.
What do kids spend pocket money on and how much do they save?
This varies a lot from child to child, but as a sign of the times most pocket money is spent pretty quickly on apps, toys and of course sweets. Having said that, if you discuss a larger present or event which is taking place in the not too distant future, such as a toy release or a holiday – you will be surprised at your child’s saving ability.
When it comes to spending your child’s pocket money, it can be a good idea to have the child carry out the transaction themselves with your assistance. Most retail staff will enjoy this, and by ‘exchanging’ pocket money for items your child wants, valuable lessons are learnt.
Taking this idea further, you can always create a shop environment at home. Where you exchange goods with your child, helping them understand the process of buying.
What about birthday and Christmas money?
When children receive pocket money, suddenly money given at Christmas and Birthdays makes much more sense. In our opinion, children who get pocket money on a regular basis are more likely to save ‘special occasion’ money, not rush out and spend it. If your child takes to saving well, it’s well worth opening up a children’s saving account with them. Knowing that when they are 18, they will have a lump of money to help them with life’s expenses, such as buying and running a car.
What do we think?
We are in agreement that pocket money is a great way to give your child a sense of purpose and aspiration. Through teaching them that they can have anything they want in life, if they put the hard work in, you can instil a strong work ethic from a young age.
More importantly, what do you think of pocket money and if you do use it, how do you use it? If you don’t give your child pocket money, we would also love to hear your opinions on the matter.
Here at Children’s Rooms our aim is simple. To provide children and their parents with the largest range of top quality children’s bedding, children’s bedroom furniture and children’s bedroom accessories online, at unbeatable prices. In the process we also like to think that we are playing our part in helping ensure that your child’s bedroom is a place in which they feel both relaxed and inspired in, ready for both work and play. Children’s bedrooms are something we understand.