I was wondering if you can tell me ‘How much pocket money you got as a child?’ and now, ‘How much Pocket money you think is right to give to your Child?’
I posted this Questions in Q & A at LinkedIn ‘Author Book Reviews’ Group. You can join in here on my List and opine your views. You can even add to comments here.
Well, Kids pocket money gets a big boost with changing lifestyles. Pocket money give kids a feeling of self dependence. It makes children more responsible and organized in their approach towards money matters. Knowing the value of money is important and makes a child aware of ‘How money comes and How it goes’ so that they can be careful in their dealing with money to pick up things reasonably fair for them and not spending grandly that they cannot afford. Even, while they get the extra bucks, children can learn how to save in what we call ‘piggy bank.’
Like I mentioned in one of my articles in my Book ‘Guardian of Angels’, Morris Mandel from Jewish Press says, “Four Magic words : We can’t afford it”, should be a part of every child’s education. A child who has never heard these words, or also has never been forced to abide by their meaning, has surely been cheated by his parents. As exercise strengthens the body, frugality strengthens the spirit. Without its occasional discipline, character suffers.”
It is very true, today parents are feeling the stress in the money crunch period and many are living on the edge. Children are acutely sensitive to the nuances of their parents’ tension and well being. It is important to talk to children on money matters and when pocket money is concerned, I gather, the west is more liberal in providing money even to the younger kids. A weekly allowance of 5$ is quite reasonable whereas some get $1 or even $20 per week. Some parents fulfil the wish of children out of love and demands keep pouring in when they fail to mention “We can’t afford”.
Children even follow herd mentality. Someone has a new version of ipod or a playstation, they too want it. Here is when parental guidance is required.
Teaching about finance to children is good. Pocket money is a great way to educate children to become financially literate to make informed decisions about their finances. However, draw the lines as to How much should a child get? Second is, How to manage the Pocket money? A Poster reads “My Dad is an ATM” on a Teen T shirt but ugh, not all Dads and even if they do, the thought is Money corrupts and a vigil guard for teens become a necessity if there is any mis-use to it.
So, here’s Kidsfreesouls Tips:
How much should a Child Get?
1. Pre-school children can get a $ (Rs.50) per month whereas older children can get a $5 (Rs.200) per month.
2. Money can be given to kids on various occassion like Birthdays, christmas, (Diwali) etc. and let the kids choose their gift from it. (Teach them to keep aside for savings from this)
3. Call for kids to work by helping you around. Later, reward with pocket money with additional few $$ for their help.
4. You can give additional $ apart from pocket money and this should be compulsory for Piggy bank.
5. Give pocket money as your pocket suits and not as demanded by the child. Get an idea of pocket money giving rate and give as suits best to you.
How to Manage the Pocket money:
1. Teach kids about saving and investing
2. Teach about budgeting
3. Save up for things the kids want eg. an ipod. Give extra $ on birthdays, christmas etc. to add to savings and on savings of $$ give bonus add ons.
4. Add compulsory to the Piggy bank by saving some fix $
5. If you’ve given a mobile to a teenager, let them pay the usage bills from pocket money.
6. Let them have the best experience to shop around for a price.
7. Let kids manage their personal passbook to keep records of their pocket money and its expenditure and savings
8. If a child break a valuable vase or charges occured for mis-handling of their bicycle, let them pay from the pocket money. It may be a mistake but they will learn to be more responsible and know the value of money.
9. Make sure, the pocket money is used for good purpose and that children don’t use for things like cigarettes or like.
10. Let them know your Position and how much you can afford. Even if you can afford more, keep a check on emotions. Give as much as others get around and guide the child to manage pocket money by your own examples of managing your own.
Pocket money is an issue that really concerns many of the parents. Even schools take a step on pocket money usage in canteens here in my city as children are fond to binge eating which creates obesity problems and even tempts other children who cannot afford. Many parents do not consider pocket money. Instead provide all that a child needs. However, demands of children are always rising and it is to keep a vigil on expenses by guarding emotions rather than following instincts to make the child happy.
My son Binal says, “I got Rs.20 as pocket money and today, I earn with multiple zeroes added to it yet, my personal experience with Pocket money has taught me to manage my finances and I make practical and logical decisions while I incur expenses.”
So, there you go – Be a guide, be a helper. Instill the right moral code of conduct and adopt the four magic words “We can’t Afford It” and sure, you will see the results as your child grow up.
Image courtesy: wonderwoman, intoday –
Read more on Pocket Money here too