FUN FACT! The term ‘pocket money’ was actually ‘coined’ before the advent of pockets in shirts and trousers. Money was kept in various bags, before a tailor sewed a pocket on a garment and it became so useful that further innovations made a pocket suitable to safely keep money! After that, money kept in pockets came to be known as ‘pocket money’. Now, it is often regarded as a reward for children’s good behaviour.

If you are considering incorporating a pocket money reward system in your home, then this is the blog for you!

Typically, pocket money is paid for each chore that is completed by a child, or given as an agreed amount if ALL their chores are completed! We suggest the first approach, as it gives parents an opportunity to incorporate learning into the pocket money system. For example, why don’t you place a reward price for each chore you want completed? For younger children you could say:

  • Tidying your room = £2.00
  • Putting dishes away = £1.00

You could then ask your children to add up how much pocket money they have earned by completing their chores. You could then make this more difficult for your children as they get older, for example:

  • Tidying your room = £2.76
  • Putting dishes away = £1.39

If you need help with deciding how much to give, take a look at Rooster Money’s article on the average pocket money given by age.

Giving pocket money in exchange for your children completing jobs can be a great way to reinforce that money is ‘earned’. Getting a monetary reward for a job well done can be extremely rewarding and satisfying for your children, however it’s really important to be clear about what jobs are pocket money worthy, compared to things you expect your children to be doing as part of the family!

Take a look at when you should give pocket money here > https://www.moneysupermarket.com/money-made-easy/pocket-money/

There are several other benefits of pocket money rewards, including:

  • It can work as a great incentive for children to help you around the house and complete their chores.
  • It can help children realise the value of money, as they feel responsibility to help contribute towards their purchases
  • It can help children become more responsible in matters of money – preparing them for their future.
  • It helps include children in making important decisions around money and expenditure, as well as providing them with a useful sense of purpose and achievement.
  • You can save time by not buying small things for your children, as they can save their pocket money and buy things themselves (a win for most parents!)

Equally, it’s important to consider the potential negatives to offering pocket money rewards:

  • Children may come to expect a reward for good behaviour, which is why it’s so important to outline which jobs are expected as part of the family and which are worth a pocket money reward.
  • It can potentially make children callous with money and they may spend it on frivolous things, especially if they know that they will be provided with money each week if they complete a set of jobs.
  • They may not realise the worth and value of money and without supervision may be more likely to make hasty decisions.
  • Researchers from the Royal Economic Society found that the more pocket money kids are given, the more likely they are to spend it all straight away.

In order to overcome some of these negatives, why not encourage your children to divide their money between goals for things they want to get and a savings pot, to put something aside?

Getting your children to think about what they do with their pocket money is a really important lesson in budgeting and will help them understand that you need to cover short-term, as well as long-term goals by putting some spending money aside!

Do you give your children pocket money? Let us know your thoughts!