Oftentimes, perhaps, even by default, we associate chores and pocket money… You earn pocket money by doing chores. Except, I am challenging you to think about it differently.
Chores and Pocket Money serve different purposes.
The purpose of chores is to teach our kids about work and willingly helping to contribute. They are part of a family and it is important for each of them to do their part, and appreciate the contributions of one another…
The purpose of pocket money however, is to teach our kids how to manage money. They are two separate things. And that separation is key.
Pocket money based off chores is so often a huge hassle. It’s hard to be consistent, it creates a lot of undue overhead (e.g. commissions applied to different jobs, monitoring clean bedrooms and being dependent on how cranky mum is feeling that day), which makes it even harder to be consistent. Not to mention, they get smart and it can feel like anytime we ask them to do something they’re expecting to get paid or worse yet they decide that pocket money isn’t worth the work!
From the age of four (before that money is simply a choking hazard) to about seven, the main teaching point about money for our little ones is its value, how to count it and how it works in our society eg. practice using it to buy milk from the corner shop
Then from the age of eight to about thirteen (or high school age), the main idea is teaching them to manage it. This is where pocket money should come in. Keep it consistent, the same every week and nothing to do with chores or behaviour. I wouldn’t even pretend to give a ‘best amount’ as this simply depends on each family’s individual financial situation.
This is also the perfect time in their life to set up their very first budget. You might like to use the traditional method of give 10%, save half of the rest and spend the other half. But its up to you and your own family values you wish to teach and pass on.
Then watch what happens when you give them a choice of what to spend their remaining on… funny enough, they usually only put all their focus on just one thing!
After the age of thirteen they’re not too young to think about earning their own money… You might even find they have their very own entrepreneurial nature! They might like to try dog sitting, mowing the neighbours yards or selling arts and craft. The possibilities are endless.
Whether or not you’re intentional about teaching your kids about money, you will teach them about money. For better or for worse, they are watching and learning. The best thing you can do for their financial future (and yours!) is to get control of your money, make a plan, and keep talking about it. Someday (maybe when they are like 27?) they will thank you.
Would you like some ideas on saving money in your household budget?