Should I give my Children Pocket Money?

It can seem obvious to parents that they should give their children pocket money. This is because most parents do this and so you might just feel that you need to. However, is this a good reason and should you even bother at all?

Advantages

Children will put pressure on their parents to give them pocket money and some families will even fall out over it. This means that you might think that it is something that you should do in order to make sure that you have a good relationship with them. You might also think that you should give them money so that they have something to spend when they go out with their friends, especially if their friends end up paying for things for them otherwise. 

If children have money it is an opportunity for you to give them a lesson in have to budget, save and spend. If they have a savings account then they can put all or some of it in there. They can also save up money to buy more expensive things. It can be great to explain to them about the advantages of saving their money and saving up for items. Also explain that they might want to save up for things in the short-term, for example save up to buy a video game, or for the long term and save up for university.

Disadvantages

If you give your children pocket money it means that you will have to find that money from somewhere. This could be difficult if you have a tight budget and already struggle to buy everything that you need. In fact, in this situation you may need to not give them anything, especially if you have to go into debt to give them the money.

Sometimes giving children money can also give them a bad attitude towards money. They feel that they can get money regularly without really doing a lot. If they think their parents are a source of money then they may keep asking them for more and more. This might even lead into adulthood and they might get to the point where they cannot manage without it. They may rely on parental handouts so much that when they stop getting them, they have no idea how to manage on their own.

You may think that a way around this is to get the children to earn the money that you give them by doing household chores. Many children will then refuse to do anything in the house unless they get paid for it. This can mean that when they have their own house, they will not want to do any of the cleaning or other chores because they are not getting paid to do so. It is important that they know that grown ups do not get paid for doing household chores and so they need to learn to do them regardless of being paid.

It can therefore be difficult to find a balance. How do you make sure that your children learn to manage money but they do not think that they will only work if they get paid for it? Perhaps limited money to gifts for birthday and Christmas could help. You could also make them do certain chores to earn their money but only on condition they do other chores when asked as well. It gets harder to negotiate about this when they are teenagers, so establish habits when they are younger and they will get used to things being done in a particular way. Explain everything too, why you are doing things in a certain way and this should help too.

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