Cowart's Common Room

Morning everyone

I'm not sure whether I should post this here. I'm just interested to know your views on pocket money for kids, how much, what they have to do to get it etc.

Idle Jack is nearly 16 and gets 7.50 per week-for that he has to walk dog daily, keep bedroom tidy, make bed, other general jobs like putting out bins etc.

Quiet Mousie is 8 and gets 3.50 per week-same again-he has to do various jobs-putting out recycling, bedroom, bathroom tidy etc.

They can do extra jobs like washing cars or windows and get extra.

They are both totally motivated to earn their pocket money and very good saving up if they want to purchase something like a dvd/book etc. They even saved together last year and bought themselves a Wii (only 'cos we wouldn't buy them one!) But at least this helps them understand the value of money.

I was considering putting up their money to 10 and 5 respectively. Am I mad?

Any comments/views and advise on what you give your youngsters would be appreciated.

Bye for now

Posted at 20th Mar 2009 - 11:01AM   Posted by Angel   POCKET MONEY POSER Comments: 18

LittleBrownDog's Avatar Interesting - I've just been writing a piece about children and pocket money, so I've been doing a lot of thinking about it. We give Alex (10) 10 a month, which he supplements with his car-washing business - I would guess this probably averages out to about 5 a week, which I feel is more than ample for his needs.

My feeling is that pocket money in general is a good thing - it helps them understand the principles of saving, budgeting and being responsible for their own money. Some people have an issue with expecting children to do jobs in return for pocket money, arguing that they should be expected to make a contribution to general household tasks (ie keeping rooms tidy, occasionally helping load/unload dishwasher, etc) anyway. While I agree with this in principle, I think it's a good thing, too, to reinforce the connection between work and money by letting them to occasional optional 'paid' jobs, too - so many kids nowadays think the key to financial success is appearing on Big Brother or winning the X-Factor - I feel it's important to get them into the idea that money generally has to be worked for. (Apologies if this sounds moralising and preachy - it is just my owb opinion and I'm sure others will have different views Confused)

Personally (and this is totally a personal view) I feel 3.50 is ample for an 8-year old, but families vary a lot and it's totally a personal decision.

A has a savings account and we encourage him to save up for things he wants - although it's sometimes hard to watch him frittering it away on dodgy playstation games on eBay Confused .

Posted by: LittleBrownDog on 20th Mar 2009 at 11:23AM

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar I couldn't comment on the amount children should have nowadays as mine are all grown up but I was reminded about a little scheme my mother had way back. She posted a list on the back of the pantry door of the 'price' paid for various jobs around the house. It was a struggle to earn a decent amount of pocket money until the summer holidays came. Then my sister and I mounted a big effort and besieged her with requests for jobs. By the end of the first week she was broke and soon reverted to the fixed amount of pocket money.

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 20th Mar 2009 at 11:32AM

Patsy's Avatar Good points there LBD. I agree that 3.50 seems OK for an 8 year old.
At 16 years Idle Jack will have different demands on his money. Depends what he has to pay for himself lunches ? bus fares ? movies? Perhaps he needs less pocket money but more of an allowance which will help him budget for all his weekly needs. Giving him more responsibility for his own spending must be a good lesson to learn.
I agree LBD it's hard to watch the children spend their cash on a piece of tat but they have to learn those hard lessons too when the object breaks or quickly becomes old hat Rolling Eyes

Posted by: Patsy on 20th Mar 2009 at 11:34AM

I didn't give either of mine pocket money, both as soon as it was legal got themselves jobs. Both worked for Tesco after school, and at weekends. My son reaching the dizzy heights of checkout team leader by the time he was 17 effectively running the checkouts and cash office when he was on shift! At Uni they both continue to work about 20 hours a week, T for Apple in Regent St, and R for H & M in Covent Garden. They are probably the only students I know that don't have overdrafts. I am convinced that not giving pocket money and getting them to understand the value of what you earn is paramount. T has even saved enough to pay for his MA course fees and living costs next year.

I think pocket money has to be earned, and not for doing jobs that should be their responsibility anyway. Again, if my two didn't keep their rooms straight, and put away their toys, they didn't get privileges, like TV. I started this regime from when they were tiny tots. Consistency is the key. They learned that these things aren't a right, they are to be earned, and that good behaviour is rewarded. I paid for many things, like riding, sports, hobbies and the like, but anything else was up to them.

Yep, some will think me mean, but I have two kids who are able to support themselves, are successful and make me feel very proud of them.

Posted by: Zoe on 20th Mar 2009 at 11:42AM

Toady's Avatar Can you send them round here please - I'd pay that amount!

Seriously I think what you are paying is fair and perhaps a little rise, pointing out that there is a recession. I think it's very important to teach the value of money and for them to know that you have to work for it. Lauren was out earning as soon as she was able and has always been a grafter.

Posted by: Toady on 20th Mar 2009 at 11:49AM

Suffolkmum's Avatar My initial thought is you're very generous - or maybe I'm very mean! James is 10 and only gets 2.00 a week, and he has to make his bead, fill/empty the dishwasher, tidy up, feed the at and chickens if he's up first, collect the eggs etc. for that. He might get a bit more if he washes the car, that sort of thing. Poor Katherine doesn't get any - we keep forgetting! James is very keen to get a job as soon as he's old enough.

Posted by: Suffolkmum on 20th Mar 2009 at 02:29PM

Both of our boys get 2.50 a week each (aged 10 and 13) but can earn more for doing chores. We pay for the mobile phone top ups and clothes but they buy DVD's, songs and sweets. I like the sound of Zoe's rules and think I'm going to be stricter with them in the future!

Posted by: Blogthatmama on 20th Mar 2009 at 02:34PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Oh phew, glad you said that SM. My James, also 10, gets 10 a month (and only just been put up from 5) and is also expected to help out. He too will get extra for mowing lawn, washing car, hoovering etc.
I'm pretty tough as, if he wants something out of the usual really needed clothes/equipment he has to save up. In fact we had a bit of a strop the other day as he had wanted a rugby top on offer and I said he had to save up. Finally got the amount needed and, sod's law, offer had run out. Did feel a bit mean.

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 20th Mar 2009 at 02:38PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Oooh, yours slipped in BTM while i was composing mine!
James has to pay for his phone top-ups too. Cool

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 20th Mar 2009 at 02:39PM

Westerwitch's Avatar We did pretty much the same with RB and Wildchild. The latter got herself a job working in the local tearoom eventually and RB worked for us cleaning the cottages.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 20th Mar 2009 at 02:52PM

Faith's Avatar I'm afraid that I don't agree with Zoe about giving no pocket money at all. I think giving children their own regular amount from an early age is important as it gives them the chance to learn how to save, spend, and yes, waste money.

My eldest had pocket money from age 5 (or was it 7?) sorry I can't remember, but I think it was 5. She had 25p a week - this was 1984 and every week it was excrutiating (spelling?) with her at the shops as she dithered, and decided whether to buy this pencil, or that rubber.

I used to put the my girl's pocket money up each year on their birthdays and this event was eagerly awaited.

I never linked pocket money to chores. Things around the house had to be done if I said so. Pocket money was separate. I would occasionally let them earn more by doing extra big things if they wanted to earn money for a special purchase.

I think how much money they get should depend on what they have to pay for. As Patsy says, with teens you have to work out what you will pay for, and what they will.

Both my girls stopped getting pocket money and got a quarterly allowance when they were 15/16. Cee was 15 as she was very mature, and already earning some of her own money as a model anyway. Em had to wait til she was 16.

I think 3.50 is plenty for an 8 year old, but I am surprised Idle Jack can manage on 7.50. This is just my opinion.

One dad, years ago, was discussing the problem of his 12 year old son nicking things from shops with me and my then husband. He, the dad, was obviously very upset. 'Do you give him pocket money?' I asked. 'No' he said 'We give him money if he needs anything'. But having to ask for money and state what it's for e.g. I need new felt-tips, is ok, but not very nice really. Even chldren need their little bit of independence and so they can keep up with their group, and have some money in their pocket to buy sweets, or trading cards or the latest small thing. Well thats what I think anyway.

Posted by: Faith on 20th Mar 2009 at 04:27PM

SallysChateau's Avatar I thought you were being very generous, I'm very strict with mine, if they want money they have to earn it and keeping rooms tidy, sorting out their clothes and generally helping out on a daily basis are non negotiable.

Posted by: SallysChateau on 20th Mar 2009 at 04:51PM

KittyB's Avatar H (9) gets 2.50 per week (so 10/month, none of this five weeks in a month nonsense!) and it is earned based on good behaviour and manners; collecting eggs and delivering to neighbours; tidy bedroom; putting things into dishwasher etc.
A cheeky comment or doing something naughty loses a week's pocket money.
I think 10 a week is ample, I treat him to a small box of Lego, a book or similar if he does something outstandingly good at school, so he can afford to save his pocket money for something bigger.

Posted by: KittyB on 20th Mar 2009 at 05:04PM

Patsy's Avatar We still use a Pebble jar...they earn pebbles in addition to their pocket money by doing something especially well or above and beyond the normal expected level of good behaviour eg being polite to their brother (not natural at all!); coming up with a brilliant solution to a dilemma; remembering something they normally forget.

The idea is to tangibly and immediately reward thoughtful behaviour. So often parents (myself very definitely included) point out bad behaviour without praising the good. And don't we all in the adult world want praise/satisfaction/income from our responsible actions?

There are about 30 pebbles to be collected by each boy. When the jar is full (usually takes about 3 months as we often forget to use it) the reward is 20. Pebbles can, and often are, swiftly removed too for instant and effective punishment. No nagging needed!

It's amazing how helpful the children become as the jar gets fuller and fuller!

Posted by: Patsy on 20th Mar 2009 at 05:24PM

Angel's Avatar Thanks so much for your input everyone. There are some very interesting points you raise.
I did forget to say that both boys have money deducted for being 'naughty' ie if I hear any improper behaviour or back chat etc.

Hmm... I do wonder if we have been a tad generous, especially for the little one although he doesn't spend it on anything much-prefers to save it! He regularly has more than any of us in his piggy bank.
Idle Jack is currently doing GCSE's but he did make me fall of the sofa last week when he declared he was going to get a part time job, maybe at MacDonalds as soon as his exams are finished. We have been talking about it to him for long enough!


Posted by: Angel on 20th Mar 2009 at 06:23PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Love the idea of the pebble jar, Patsy......
GOod luck with Idle Jack, Angel!

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 20th Mar 2009 at 11:02PM

Milkmaid's Avatar I too love the peeble jar idea, we used to have a points system and ten points earned them their 'going' rate ie 2,3 or 4, but now I just pay them from the farm business every quarter about 75, but they do earn it, milking and cleaning out cows. Eldest has given up saturday job for her exams but her little sister took over the job and gets 12 for a morning of dog walking and kennel cleaning. Eldest has got job lined up for June when exams done. I but them essentials everything else, especially items from Jack Wills they buy themselves

Posted by: Milkmaid on 21st Mar 2009 at 12:40AM

Milkmaid's Avatar Crumbs you can tell I've out on the razz and just come in PEBBLE

Posted by: Milkmaid on 21st Mar 2009 at 12:41AM

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