Pocket money :: How my 5 year old saved £30

Pocket money :: How my 5 year old saved £30

So a couple of days ago I was asked to have a chat with BBC Radio York again in my capacity as a parent blogger and ‘mum in the know’ (ha!). This time the topic was pocket money, after Halifax bank announced that on average children between the age of 7-15 are give £7-10 per week in pocket money.

Does that surprise anyone? It certainly doesn’t surprise me.

The truth is this generation is entitled, often privileged and money has a different value to what it did in days gone by. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the case for all, and I’m not suggesting that the generation is flawed or unable to feel gratitude for what they have, rather that it has become the norm to give them everything and as such it comes as a shock to them when they don’t just get.

So pocket money. Do you give it? If so, how?

We do to Reuben, but on an “earn it” basis only. He gets “pennies” as he puts it for certain little things, like helping with his siblings, helping with dishes or laundry and having an especially good day/report from school. The amount is minimal, but he is told he can spend it, or save it to buy something bigger – the idea being that he learns that money has a value and the bank of mum and dad isn’t permanently open and ready to serve.

I’m not suggesting that we don’t buy the kids things, we do (farrrrr too much) but we also try to utilise pocket money to try and ingrain the idea that money has to be earned, after all Adam and I have to work for our money, as have my parents, his parents and the generations before them. I wrote a post not so long ago about chores and why I think it they are a good thing right from as young as 3-4 years old. It’s not robbing your child of their childhood, nor is telling them they can’t have something unless they earn it. It’s helping to build the foundations for their respect of finance and an understanding of how the real world works.

The study from Halifax was especially interested in saving money, more specifically getting children to save, another concept I’m firmly behind. We will teach Reuben that if he has something in the shop that he wants, but has only earned £8 and it’s worth £10, he needs to earn some more “pennies”. He once decided that he wanted a £30 transformer from Toys R Us, and managed to save up for it in only a matter of weeks – 20p here for helping me get nappies for Edie, £1 there for a good day at school, 50p for helping to do the dishes… and fleecing his Maw Maw too, of course, but what else are grandparent’s for? It’s good for his counting too, after all, laying out his money and physically counting it can’t be a bad thing, and it teaches him – in a world where money has become a non physical entity, found online or via contactless cards – that cold hard cash is a real thing. Something that he has to monitor, be aware of and earn.

Essentially I’m hoping to raise children that understand money, and can keep themselves out of chronic debt, which I really do feel cripples so many adults nowadays.

How about you? Do you give pocket money, do you make kids earn it and do you encourage saving?

H x

42 Comments

  1. June 9, 2016 / 10:27 am

    John and I have decided that Erin will have her own ‘chores’ to do for pocket money. I obviously don’t mean anything too crazy but simple things like keeping her room tidy. I want her to learn not only how to save but that money isn’t free and we have to do something for it.

    • Harriet June 9, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      Great plan Lyndsey! x

  2. June 7, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    Youngest doesn’t earn his pocket money, I just buy him things when something catches my eye.
    However my 2 older boys have started earning their pocket money by doing things like cleaning their bedroom and helping me out.
    As a kid I had to earn money and this gave me independence and knowing to get far in life, I have to work.

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      Thanks Sam, that’s exactly what we’re aiming to achieve – independence and understanding that you have to earn in life.

  3. June 7, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    When I was younger my Aunt used to give me £100 a month pocket money, of course I used to waste it haha

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:11 pm

      Wowza! Thats amazing! Lucky you… even if you did waste it haha!

  4. June 7, 2016 / 7:40 am

    Our children have to earn their money by doing chores. They’re quite good at keeping up with it.

  5. June 7, 2016 / 2:51 am

    It’s great that he learned to save at such a young age. We never had allowances but the kids would get money for chores.

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      Thanks Liz – I was so proud of him!

  6. June 7, 2016 / 12:59 am

    Oh wow that is absolutely amazing – so good on him for being able to save up and earn the pennies! x

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      I was super impressed!

  7. June 7, 2016 / 12:36 am

    I never got regular pocket money as a kid as my parents paid for magazines and music lessons instead. Every now and again I would get a bit of money but I only ever saved up from Christmas and Birthday money! It seemed to work for me but I also think it’s good to give money as a little reward!

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:22 pm

      Ahh that sounds like it was great for you, I think because everyone is so different thats idea. 🙂

  8. June 6, 2016 / 11:34 pm

    It is a great idea to start teaching kids about money from an early age. I will be giving mine pocket money.

  9. June 6, 2016 / 11:03 pm

    We haven’t started giving my girls pocket money yet although they have mentioned being paid for doing chores once or twice.

  10. June 6, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    I remember getting £5 a week pocket money but asking ny mun to give me it at the end of the month in one go. I felt so rich with my £20 🙂

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      Haha Nikki that is a fab idea! I love that you took the initiative as a child to ask 🙂

  11. June 6, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    I’m not sure about how I’ll broach pocket money with my son when the time comes. I want him to understand money and the importance of saving though so I know I need to let him have some to use as he sees fit. It’s a tough one though.

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      It is hard isn’t it?!

  12. Evelina
    June 6, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    That’s amazing! I was so much better in saving money when I was a kid 🙂

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      Haha I was better too!

  13. June 6, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    Well done for getting on the radio, pretty cool achievement!

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:24 pm

      Thanks Tara, they are so lovely I’ve done 4-5 interviews with them now and it’s always fun! Maybe I’ll get to do big radio or tv one day 😉

  14. June 6, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    My girls will have pocket money off me and family but I will not give give pocket money for them doing the housework such as tidying their bedrooms etc. I thinkthey need to learn that you just don’t get paid for doing housework and it’s about respecting the house you live. That is my opinion.

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Thats a really good point Beth – I often wonder where we will find the fine line for the kids to learn the difference… maybe as he gets older and can have proper chores 🙂

  15. June 6, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Can Reuben help me save up for a house deposit in London? I’d really appreciate the help. Ha!

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Haha Elodie the amount he fleeces us for I’m sure he could… though the little bugger would no doubt want a commission haha!

  16. June 6, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Great post. I’ve already started teaching our 2 year old to put money in his savings box at home. It’d a game at the moment but I plan to follow your lead with regards to saving for things he wantsx

  17. June 6, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    This is such a good idea and a great way to encourage saving for what you want in life x

  18. June 6, 2016 / 11:33 am

    He’s obviously learnt the value of money, which is so important. You are doing a great job!

  19. nicol
    June 6, 2016 / 11:28 am

    i think this is actually a great thing to do! i grew up saving every penny i had. if i wanted something, id ask my parents to buy it for me and i’ll give them the money i’ve saved. in the end, they’d put the money into my own savings account ha

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:29 pm

      That is another thing we do for him Nicol – we match what he spends (when we can) and put it into a bank account for him. He genuinely has better savings than me!

  20. Iris Tilley
    June 6, 2016 / 8:14 am

    I use to give 10p when little but then as the yrs slowly!!!! rolled by it went up and up but it capped at £1 lol

    • Harriet June 7, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      I think it’s good to have a cap!

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