Do you give your kids pocket money?
Do you refuse to do anything of the sort?
Pocket money is an interesting debate that receives differing opinions from all sorts of parents. There seem to be positives and negatives for each side that you look at and that is where things get complicated.
In this blog, we are going to look at both sides of this discussion, weighing up both the pros and the cons so that we might reach some kind of conclusion for you.
If you have some strong opinions of your own, please do let us know in the comment section below!
We love to hear from you and we love to get everyone involved in the conversation together so we can learn even more.
So without any further ado, let’s get into that discussion. Starting with the pros.
Pro – Teaching Your Child Smart Financial Habits
The first positive of giving your child pocket money, and one of the main positives overall, is that the practice will help teach your child smart financial habits. Children, obviously, aren’t born with a concept of money and finances and it is up to us as parents to teach them about it. There isn’t a lot of information and class in school about personal finances and how to handle your own money, and it is important for us to supplement this knowledge with our own home lessons.
One of the best ways to help children learn things is through practice rather than simply telling them about things.
Pocket money is a good way to show children that money isn’t an endless supply that you can spend, rather it is something that comes to you every week, every other week, or every month, and you have to wait on that time. This is where some parents will choose to double up the concept of pocket money with the concept of chores or household tasks so that children can learn the basic concept of work and pay.
This positive of pocket money is that children can learn quickly that money isn’t something frivolous and endless so that they may grow up less spoiled and entitled and more grateful and hardworking. It can, in theory, also help them want to get their own job and work earlier in life than they would if they were simply given the things they want all the time.
Pro – Showing Your Child The Value of Money
The second pro of giving pocket money to your child is on a similar note as the first point, and it is the concept that giving your child pocket money will help to show them the value of money.
When children are bought gifts, tickets, and things without any knowledge of what they cost, they don’t learn the value of money and they might begin to think that everything in life is simply handed to them. Giving them pocket money and encouraging them to save up that money to eventually buy something they want or need can really help them learn about the value of money for themselves. This will really help them in the long run as they go through life.
Teaching your child to be a good saver is much more beneficial than teaching them to be a good shopper and spender.
Pro – Delayed Gratification
Giving your child regular but small amounts of pocket money is a great practice of delayed gratification. Delayed gratification means “the act of resisting an impulse to take an immediately available reward in the hope of obtaining a more-valued reward in the future”. This means that whenever children don’t immediately spend their pocket money on small things regularly and instead save it to buy something better down the line, they are learning valuable lessons in self-discipline, saving, and long-term reward.
These are big and important lessons to learn from something so small.
Con – Placing Importance on Money Too Early
Now it’s time to look at the other side of the coin when it comes to pocket money. What are the cons?
The first con that I can think of is the fact that giving our children pocket money can be construed as placing importance on money too early in their life. Some parents give their children access to pocket money at an early age and it could be said that this is too early a life stage for children to even think about money and finances. Some might say it takes their innocence away too early.
Do kids really need to buy things? Do they need savings? Or should they just focus on childhood things and let all of that come later?
That’s a question worth asking.
Con – Giving Your Child Control Over Their Money Too Early
On a similar note, another potential con of giving your child pocket money is that it could be seen as giving them control of their own money too early. Now, of course, pocket money is on a small scale and it isn’t like you are asking your child to make big financial decisions, but it is still, in a way, allowing them to practice control over their own finances by prompting them to save and spend money how they like.
Some people would argue that children aren’t able to make decisions like this yet and it would be better to put regular savings aside for your child that can’t be spent by them on toys or treats. Some people would argue that giving your child money so early allows them to waste the money.
But are treats and toys really a waste? If they are on a small scale?
That’s an answer only really individual parents of individual children can answer.
Overall, from presenting our arguments, to me it is clear that there are more positives than negatives when it comes to thinking about giving our children pocket money or not. It can teach them valuable lessons about responsibility, saving, delayed gratification, and personal finances, all while allowing them to have a little bit of fun. Yes, there might be downsides, but are they big enough to worry about?
I’m not so sure.
What do you think?
Want to read even more parenting discussions and debates? Keep an eye out on our parenting section of our site!