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SHOULD YOU GIVE POCKET MONEY TO YOUR KIDS?

Every family has its own approach: some parents buy every little thing for their children themselves, some give them a little cash when they ask and some prefer to give their kids pocket money on a weekly or monthly basis.

These can all be good solutions if they are compatible with the general family circumstances. However, pocket money is the only system that helps children to learn to manage their own finances. They have to choose how to spend their money by picking from a range of options, so it teaches them about the value of things and dealing with limits.

What is the right amount to give to children? Children’s needs change as they grow. It doesn’t make much sense to give kids under the age of 10 pocket money because they still haven’t fully grasped the concept of money. However, their needs and desires become more complex once they start secondary school and they might spend their money on anything from toys, stickers and ice cream to clothes, topping up their phones and fuel for scooters. Therefore, once your children start secondary school it is a good idea to establish a set figure. Pay no attention to the amounts that their friends get: simply take into account your children’s real needs and what you can afford to give them.

Don’t make pocket money into a way of bribing or rewarding them: it should stay the same regardless of how they are performing at school or how well or badly they behave.

Don’t expect your children to be capable of making mature economic decisions straight away: let them experience the satisfaction of saving up and allow them to make a few “extravagant” purchases. No matter how much they beg, do not let them have advances on their pocket money or a little extra help to buy something, otherwise they’ll never learn from their mistakes and the whole experience will be futile.

When they’re a little older, if their pocket money isn’t enough to cover all of their expenses, they can either earn some extra cash by doing odd jobs or they’ll have to go without something: realizing that you can’t always afford everything that you want is another important lesson that will help them to grow up into more contented, balanced and responsible adults.

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