Kids and pocket money: How much is too much?

Pocket_moneyShould you give your kids pocket money, and if so, how much?

With a young daughter of my own, this is a topic I’ve given quite a bit of thought to.

Evidently, so have a lot of Australians! Commbank reports:

A survey by CommBank found that almost 80 per cent of parents in Australia give their children pocket money.

For kids aged between 4-6 years the average amount per week is $7.17 while in the 7-9 years age bracket it drops slightly to $7.04.

By 10-12 years the average increases to $11.37 and from 13-15 it goes up again to $14.11.

These are some pretty interesting statistics – though I’m not sure how you go about giving your five-year-old $7.17!

In seriousness though, here’s my view on pocket money, and my tips for teaching your little ones good financial habits at a young age (you can never start too early!):

  1. Don’t give something for nothing. They shouldn’t be rewarded with pocket money ‘just because’.
  2. Pocket money should always be tied to contribution: how are your kids giving back to the family? Even if they’re only 4 or 6 years old, they can help by placing their clothes in the laundry hamper or picking up their toys and books.
  3. Teach them about the satisfaction of saving. Help your kids set a goal, like buying a toy or game worth $50-$100, then help them save towards it through their pocket money.

To me, the aim of the game is to create positive money habits early on with your kids. This lays the bedrock of their financial foundation and will help them make smart financial decisions later on in life.

It’s my view that you never do your kids any favours by giving them a handout, and that life lesson starts with pocket money!

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