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Money brings about responsibility. However, how old should our children be when they start receiving and learning about pocket money?

If you are looking to teach your children about responsibility and appreciation, the best way to do this is by giving them their own pocket money to spend and enjoy. Often, parents are unsure of when to start giving their children money and how an allowance should work.

Money makes the world go wrong, but in this world we don’t get anything for nothing. We need to earn our rewards, so that we can learn to appreciate them, which makes spending them that little bit more satisfactory. Children also need to understand the concept of money and the fact that it can run out, be wasted and lost forever.

Children thrive on getting new toys and other little treats. They are so quick, eager and ready to spend your money, carelessly and over and over again. You tell them that you can’t buy them a toy or treat everyday, but they reply “Why not, we are millionaires”? You inform then that this is unfortunately not the case, and it is usually followed by a tantrum and a scene in the middle of the shop.

Your Children and Pocket Money
Your child is ready to start receiving a weekly allowance as soon as they are able to differentiate between the different values of money, as well as the fact that different amounts are made up by using different coins and notes. If your child learns that 100 cents will make up a Rand, Dollar or Pound, they are well on their way to understanding money and how it works. Your child is also ready to receive regular pocket money, if they understand that you need money to buy stuff from the shop, and that once all of his/her money is spent it is gone until her next payment.

It is a common sight to see small children with coins in their tiny hands, they hold on to them for dear life because they are torn between keeping the money or buying a small treat. How much pocket money should these tiny hands see? This depends entirely on what you as the parents can afford, as well as on what grounds your children receiving this money are.

How Much?
There are many different views on how much money a child should receive. Some think that if your child is 7 years old he/she should receive $7.00. This of course depends on the currency your country uses. Others believe that this amount is too much and that your child should only receive half the amount of their age. This amount should be given to your child once a week, or a grand sum at the end of the month for older children.

No Expectations
There should never be any exceptions. If your child has been eyeing out the latest toy, and trying to save, you should never give in and buy it for her instead. This way she will never understand the importance of saving and reaching a financial goal. If you want to buy your child a new toy, treat it as a gift and not as part of her pocket money.

A Little Reward
Your child should be rewarded for completing their chores, finishing their homework and doing as they have been told. Pocket many is a great incentive and revoking it is a great form of punishment. It is important that both you and your child understand the terms and conditions for him/her receiving an allowance. Some house rules should include when the money will be taken away, what is expected of your child and that when their money is gone, it is finished for good.

Lessons Learnt
With all situations involved in parenting, your children learn from watching and copying their parents. So teach your child what it means to be responsible with money and the importance of saving and once the money is gone, it is gone forever. When children receive their own money, they feel a sense of pride, independence and maturity. Children should be free to spend their money as they wish; however, they need to understand that if all their money is spent on sweets on the first day, they will not have any money for the remainder of the week.

In order for children to learn how money works and how to savour their money for the entire week, they need to learn the hard way. We as parents are responsible for teaching our children, but we cannot learn their lessons. Having pocket money will also teach our children to make responsible choices and be happy with the decisions they have made. Children also need to learn that their money is limited and will not last forever.

If your child has any expenses, they need to learn to take that into account when planning how they will spend this money. If it is your partner’s birthday, explain to your child that they will need to contribute to buying a present. Children experience more pride in giving gifts that they have contributed to and chosen.

Saving, looking around at different prices and learning just how much things cost is an important lesson for all children to learn. This will ensure that your child develops an appreciation for money, buying their own treats and saving for an expensive toy.

Important Things to Consider When Giving Your Children Pocket Money

  1. It must always be the same amount
  2. Your child must always be paid on the same day
  3. There should be no exceptions
  4. If your child has debts, it should be taken out of their allowance. Some examples include birthdays, paying for something that was broken
  5. Raises are necessary. Paying a certain amount according to your child’s age is a great way to keep a record of all the upcoming increases
  6. Explain the importance of money, but let your child learn the hard way
  7. If your child loses his/her money, resist the urge to give in and help them out. If this happens they will never learn that money is tangible but can be lost once spent, misplaced or given away

Money, Money, Money
Money is an important lesson we all need to learn about, and the sooner the better. Giving your children pocket money is a great place to start teaching children about responsibility, saving and becoming money smart. Your child’s pocket money should be spent however he/she wants to spend it, but refrain from giving in and helping your child out when he/she has spent all his/her money.

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